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From the collection of the 


o Prejinger 
V Jjibrary 
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San Francisco, California 



Am^rtran (B^xih 

VOL. IV. - Nos. 1 and 2 
May, 1922— August, 1922 

NOTE — Words printed in capitals indicate titles of articles 

f ncotpotrSt^^tOL Rtid^nptt^tbt intercuts of cb«6ren 

Accidents. News Note. 22 

Administration, see Legislation 

Agriculture, see Rural 

Alabama. 87, 107 

Amend the Constitution. Editorial. 
Owen R. Lovejoy. 68 

Appel, Madeletne Hunt. The School- 
Age Campaign in Massachu- 
setts. 47 
Enforcement of the Street 
Trades Law in Boston. 104 

Book Reviews. 62, 150 

Boston (Massachusetts.) 104 


Agricultural colony in Rome. 88 

American Association of Social Workers. 30 

American Medical Aid for Russia acknowl- 
edges National Child Labor Committee 
literature. 89 

Apprentice school of agriculture in France. 88 

Benefit concert, bazaar and dance for 
National Child Labor Committee. 31 

Benefit opera performance for National 
Child Labor Committee. 32 

Decision handed down by Compensation 
Referee at Philadelphia. 88 

Denmark considering boys and girls agri- 
cultural extension work. 90 

Dinner given in honor of Dr. S. Josephine 
Baker. 30 

Drexel Furniture Company recovers money 
paid in taxes under Federal Child Labor 
Law. 90 

Finnish Parliament makes Child Labor 
inquiry. 31 

Fuller, Raymond G., appointed member of 
special committee on rural school attend- 
ance. 31 

Gibbons, Charles E., presents paper at 
National Education Association Conven- 
tion. 88 

New York State Charities Aid Association 
observes fiftieth anniversary. 30 

Pre-school laboratory organized by Iowa 
Child Welfare Station. 88 

Progressive Feminist Party of Chile advo- 
cates ministry of Public Welfare and 
Education. 89 

Recreation Facts from the Year Book and 
Annual Report of the Playground and 
Recreation Association of America. 30 

Report of Department of Pennsylvania 
Public Instruction. 31 

Resolution favoring child labor amendment 
passed by General Federation of Women's 
Clubs. 88 

Sheppard-Towner Act principal work of 
National League of Women Voters. 32 

Shilladay, John R., appointed director of 
National Association of Travelers Aid 
Societies. 89 

Swift, Wiley H., addresses Kiwanis Club 
International. 89 

Third Pan-American Congress of Child Wel- 
fare. 29 

U. S. Bureau of Education reports on trans- 
portation of rural children to public 
schools. 89 

U. S. Department of Agriculture reports on 
agricultural extension clubs. 89 

Brown, Sara 
Work in 

Bush, Loraine 

A., Juvenile Street 
Iowa. 130 

B., Street Trades in 

Chicago (Illinois). 114 

Child Health Demonstration. News 

Note. 28 
Childhood First and Last. Ray- 
mond G. FuUer. 57 
Child Labor Day in Coblenz. News 

Note. 19 
Child Labor in Oyster and Shrimp 

Canning Communities. News 

Note. 85 
Child Labor in Serbia. News Note. 21 
Child Labor National, Not Sectional. 

News Note. 12 
Child Labor Prohibitions for Industrial 

Home Work. News Note. 78 
Child Nature, the Law and the Courts. 

News Note. 22 
Children of Wage Earning Mothers. 

News Note. 82 
Children on the Stage. News Note. 16 
Columbia Using "Rural Child Wel- 
fare." News Note. 19 
Coblenz. 19 
Commonwealth Fund Health Program. 

News Note. 78 
Conferences. 11, 84 

National Child Labor Committee. 

National Child Labor Committee, 
proceedings. 70, 97 
Connecticut Study of Street 

Trades. H. M. Diamond. 97 
Constitutional Amendment. 68 

Editorals and News Notes. 72, 88 

Court Decisions, see Legislation. 

Diamond, H. M., Connecticut Study 
OF Street Trades. 97 

Editorial Comment on Child Labor 

Decision. 91 
Editorials. 4, 68 
Emplo3anent Certificate Conference. 

News Note. 84 
Enforcement of the Street Trades 

Law in Boston. Madeleine H. 

Appel. 104 
Erie County (New York). 28 

Factory Inspection in Jugo-Slavia. 
News Note. 83 

Federal Law Declared Unconstitu- 
tional. News Note. 8 

Fuller, Raymond G., Childhood First 
— AND Last! 57 
International Child Labor 
Legislation. 34 

Hall, George A., Notable Gain in 
JNew York's Child Welfare 

Editorials and News Notes. 27, 28, 
78, 79 

Health Examination of Working Chil- 
en. News Note. 27 

n' "^ ' Laws. 


Industrial Home Work of Children. 
News Note. 76 

International. See legislation. 

International Child Labor Legis- 
lation. Raymond G. Fuller. 34 

Iowa. 130 

Johnson , Ethel M . , Short comings in 

Child Protection. 49 
Joint Committee on Prevention of 

Dehnquency. News Note. 24 
Jugo-Slavia. 83 
Juvenile Street Work in Iowa. 

Sara A. Brown. 130 

Legislation. 34, 39, 47, 49, 104 

Editorials and News Notes. 22, 74, 
76,78, 91. 

Legislation in Other States. 15, 76 
Legislation in Rhode Island. News 

Note. 13 
Legislation in Virginia. News Note. 74 
Lovejoy, Owen R., Amend the Con- 
stitution. Editorial. 68 
The Unfinished Task. Editor- 
ial. 4 

Membership Notes. News Note. 16 
Milbank Memorial Fund Demonstra- 
tion. News Note. 79 
Model Street Trades Law, A. 
Wiley H. Swift. 126 

National Child Labor Committee: 

Purpose and Scope. 8 
National Conference of Social Work. 

News Note. 11 
Negro Women in Tobbacco Factories. 

News Note. 26 
Next National Child Labor Conference. 

News Note. 10 

News Notes: 

Child Health Demonstration. 28 

Child Labor Day in Coblenz. 19 

Child Labor National, Not Sectional. 12 

Child Labor in Oyster and Shrimp-Canning 

Communities. 85 
Child Labor Prohibitions for Industrial 

Home Work. 78 
Child Labor in Serbia. 21 
Child Nature, the Law and the Courts. 22 
Children on the Stage. 16 
Children of Wage-Earning Mothers. 82 
Columbia Using "Rural Child Welfare". 19 
Commonwealth Fund Health Program. 78 
Employment-Certificate Conference. 84 
Federal Law Declared Unconstitutional. 8 
Factory Inspection in Jugo-Slavia. 83 
Health Examination of Working Children. 27 
Industrial Home Work of Children. 76 
Joint Committee on Prevention of Delin- 
quency. 24 
Legislation in Other States. 15 
Legislation in Other States. 76 
Legislation in Rhode Island. 13 
Legislation in Virginia. 74 
Membership Notes. 16 
Milbank Memorial Fund Demonstration. 79 
National Conference of Social Work. 11 

Negro Women in Tobacco Factories. 26 
Next National Child Labor Conference. 10 

Purpose and Scope of the National Child 

Labor Committee. 8 

Review of "Rural Child Welfare," A. 20 

Review of "Rural Child Welfare," A. 80 

Seventeenth National Conference on Child 

Labor. 70 

Study of Child Welfare Laws in Alabama. 87 
Survey in Erie County, New York. 28 
Text of Proposed Constitutional Amend- 
ment. 72 

New York Youths and Their Jobs. 

Notable Gains in New York's 

Child Welfare Laws. George 

A. HaU. 39 

Pennsylvania. 120 

Purpose and Scope of the National 

Child Labor Committee. News 

Note. 8 

Rhode Island. 13 

"Rural Child Welfare" : Reviews. 20, 80 
School-Age Campaign in Massachu- 
setts, The. Madeleine H. Appel. 

Serbia. 21 

Seventeenth National Conference on 

Child Labor. News Note. 70 
Shortcomings in Child Protection. 

Ethel M. Johnson. 49 
Spice Shelf. 61 
Stage. 16 
Street Trades. 97, 104, 107, 114, 120, 

126, 130 
Street Trades in Alabama. Loraine 

B. Bush. 107 

Street Trades in Chicago. F. Zeta 
Youmans. 114. 

Street Trades in Pennsylvania. 
Bruce Watson. 120 

Study of Child Welfare Laws in Ala- 
bama. News Note. 87 

Survey in Erie County, New York. 
News Note. 28 

Swift, Wiley H., A Model Street 
Trades Law. 126 

Text of Proposed Constitutional 
Amendment. News Note. 72 

Unfinished Task, The. Editorial. 
Owen R. Lovejoy. 4 

Virginia. 74 

Watson, Bruce. Street Trades in 
Pennsylvania. 120 

Youmans, F. Zeta. Street Trades 
in Chicago. 114 

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Copyright 1922 by the 
National Child Labor Cohmittbi: 

► 27X 



The Unfinished Task Owen R. Lovejoy 4 

News From the Child Welfare Field: 

Federal Law Declared Unconstitutional. „ 8 

Purpose and Scope of the National Child Labor Committee 8 

Next National Child Labor Conference 10 

National Conference of Social Work. 11 

Child Labor, National, Not Sectional 12 

Legislation in Rhode Island 13 

Legislation in Other States 15 

Children on the Stage._ 16 

Membership Notes - 16 

Child Labor Day in Coblenz. 19 

Columbia Using "Rural Child Welfare" 19 

A Review of "Rural Child Welfare" 20 

Child Labor in Serbia. 21 

Child Nature, the Law and the Courts 22 

'^ Joint Committee on Prevention of Dehnquency 24 

Negro Women in Tobacco Factories — _ 26 

Health Examination of Working Children 27 

Child Health Demonstration 28 

Survey in Erie County, New York 28 

Brevities 29 

International Child Labor Legislation Raymond G. Fuller 34 

Notable Gains in New York's Child Welfare Laws George A, Hall 39 

The School- Age Campaign in Massachusetts Madeleine Hunt Appel 47 

Shortcomings in Child Protection Ethel M. Johnson 49 

New York Youths and Their Job8..._ 53 

Childhood First — and Last! Raymond G. Fuller 57 

Spice Shelf _ 60 

Book Reviews 62 


"Children are at work who should be in school or at play: 
therefore let us outlaw their employment and keep them in school. 
The evidence for this legislation is partly physiological, partly edu- 
cational, partly social. The evidence is all in and the case has 
long since been presented. There are no longer advocates of 
child labor. There are merely obstructionists and those who 
have not considered the evidence. There are children at work 
in the cotton fields, sugar-beet fields, and other agricultural occu- 
pations. There are unsettled questions about the employment of 
adolescents from 14 to 18. The constitutionality of federal legis- 
lation has still to be decided. But the central task for which the 
National Child Labor Committee was created in 1904 — the con- 
version of public opinion of the nation to the idea that children 
under 14 should not be gainfully employed, may fairly be said to 
have been accomplished. Children imder 14 are still employed, 
but it is known to be an anachronism and one which can probably 
be completely overcome only by the improvement of elementary 
education and attention to child welfare in general." So writes 
Dr. Edward T. Devine in his recent volume on ** Social Work." 

The unfinished task of child labor reform — in spite of the 
magnitude and importance of the past accomplishment — is far 
more difficult and extensive than would appear from any brief and 
casual survey. 

Dr. Devine says that the evidence for child labor legislation 
"is partly physiological, partly educational, partly social. The 
evidence is all in and the case has long since been presented." 
This is true enough — within limits. But the nature of the perti- 
nent evidence regarding child labor is not sufficiently indicated by 
the classification given. In part this evidence is psychological. 
It has to do with the effects of child labor on personality and char- 

The Unfinished Task 5 

acter. It has to do with mental as well as physical development 
and health. Of course it might be said that such evidence comes 
under the heading ** social," but so does physiological and educa- 
tional evidence. Effects on the individual are social effects, whether 
they come in the form of injuries or deprivations — e.g., the depri- 
vations of schooling or of play. 

Only a beginning has yet been made in application of child 
psychology to the definition and imderstanding of child labor. 
Therefore it cannot truly be said that "the evidence is all in." 

New evidence of a psychological nature is needed not only for 
its strengthening of the cumulative case agamst child labor, but 
because different kinds of evidence vary in appeal with different 
people and, what is still more significant, vary in applicability with 
different forms of child labor. It would be easy to exaggerate the 
psychological approach to the child labor problem. In current 
discussions of other social and economic problems it is often used 
with scant regard for its true implications or its limitations. But 
insofar as it yields, or can be made to yield, valid data leading to 
valid conclusions, it is by no means negligible. No mode of ap- 
proach, no kind of evidence, is negligible so long as child labor 
continues to exist or people remain imconvinced of its existence. 
We need to obtain and utilize any and every kind of evidence. 

As Dr. Devine remarks, "There are no longer advocates of 
child labor." But there are those who think that child labor is 
over. There are even those whom no amount of evidence will 
convince that child labor still flourishes — their opposition to reform 
can be overcome only by the force of an enlightened public 
opinion. But is not the present evidence sufficient to convince 
the convincible, if it can be put before them in such a way that 
they will really consider it? Yes, it is quite sufficient as evidence 
against child labor in general, but the fact is that child labor is 
not child labor in general. It takes particular forms. We have 
always found a multitude of people who emphatically oppose child 
labor in the abstract. People in the textile centers were sorry 
for the slate pickers in the coal breakers. People in the coal 
region were sorry for the child laborers of the tenements and the 

6 The American Child 

city dwellers were sorry for the little textile workers in New Eng- 
land and the South. In fact when the evil could be regarded as 
a great, national evil either without definite form or at least in 
forms not familiar to the local community, there was plenty of moral 
conviction against it. 

No further evidence is needed to convince people of the evil 
of child labor — ^that has been done. But what is child labor? In 
the particular form of employment in factories under the age of 
14, the public is pretty well convinced that that is child labor. 
What about children in agriculture or in street trades? Here 
there is less conviction — and less accomplishment — and less evi- 
dence. Here the task is, in large measure, to change conviction. 
Agriculture and street work are thought by very many people to 
be good for children. 

It all comes down to this: the public must be shown. Fact 
and argument must be presented without stint, leaving no loop- 
hole and no doubt. Tradition, custom, prejudice, ignorance, 
skepticism, individualism, inertia must be overcome. Moneyed 
power must be defeated. Regulation of street trades must meet 
the opposition of most of the newspapers. Regulation of indus- 
trialized agriculture must face the resistance of huge corporations. 
Fictions, lies and specious argument must be met by facts, facts, 
facts at every point, and the facts must have wide and constant 
publicity. Meanwhile the financial and publicity resources of the 
defenders of child labor — child labor even though they vehemently 
deny that it is child labor — are such that the advantage is on their 
side to the extent that any advantage accrues in the long nm to 
the side that is not that of truth and htunanity. 

So it appears that in gathering and presenting evidence relating 
to child labor there must be regard not only for the different kinds 
of evidence (physiological, psychological, educational, etc.) but for 
the different kinds of child labor. Evidence against child labor 
in general does not get protection for children exploited in the 
moving picttures. Evidence against agricultural child labor in 
general does not get protection for children exploited in tha beet 
fields — ^but evidence against child labor in the beet fields may open 

The Unfinished Task 7 

the eyes of those who do not believe there is any such thing as 
rural child labor. Conditions in the beet fields are striking 
and sad enough to command attention when the facts are fully 
brought out. But the beet workers are not the only child laborers 
in agriculture whose protection waits on the gathering and presen- 
tation of more evidence than the considerable amount that has 
already been collected and disseminated — enough indeed to have 
convinced a large body of thoughtful men and women that over- 
work and exploitation of children in rural America constitutes a 
challenging national evil. 

No, the evidence about child labor is not yet all in: nor will 
**the central task" of child labor reform be accomplished tmtil 
child labor above the age of 14 as well as below, and in agriculture 
as well as in industry, has finally been wiped off the map of America. 
The "central task" is the complete abolition of child labor. 



Federal Law Declared Unconstitutional 

On May 15th, the United States Supreme Court handed down 
a decision declaring the federal child labor tax law unconstitutional. 
This decision places upon the membership the obligation to redouble 
its efforts to bring the backward states up to the standards of the 
invahd federal law — and beyond, for the federal law did not affect 
children in agriculture or a host of other occupations, nor did it 
impose an educational or physical requirement for employment cer- 

In the next issue, we shall comment further on the situation 
which arises in consequence of this decision of the Court. 

Purpose and Scope of the National Child Labor Committee 

The purpose and scope of the work of the National Child Labor 
Committee may be summarized as follows: 

1. To determine by means of accurate studies the extent and 
the causes of child labor in manufacturing and commercial 
industries and in agriculture. 

2. To safeguard children against adverse conditions of labor in 
agriculture and industry. 

3. To cooperate with all other interested agencies, organizations 
and institutions in the promotion of normal child develop- 
ment by increasing and enlarging the opportunities for edu- 
cation, for health and for recreation. 

4. To assist in the fuller realization of these rights of childhood 
through better laws and through more enhghtened practices 
on the part of government, industries and parents. 


News From the Child Welfare Field 9 

5. To create and foster an intelligent public opinion which will 
support these aims. 

The central field of the work of the Committee is that of child 
labor in industry and agriculture. The problems, however, which 
it seeks to solve are complex and cannot be disassociated from general 
welfare problems, especially in methods of attack or of approach. 
For example, in considering child labor on the farm the Board recog- 
nizes that no solution can be reached except as agriculture is made 
profitable or rural life is made attractive and healthful. The ap- 
proach to the solution of the farm child labor problem, therefore, 
must be broad and varied. 

The purpose of our child labor activities is to secure to the 
child the opportunity for properly balanced, normal development. 
The child labor problem cannot, therefore, be separated from the 
educational: to protect the child without providing for his educa- 
tion is impracticable. Neither can it be separated from matters 
of hygiene, for industrial conditions are intimately related to the 
problem of health conservation. 

Recreation is important both as a substitute for labor, for many 
parents put their children to work rather than have them idle on 
the street, and as a preventive of delinquency among employed 
children who do not know what to do with their free time. The 
Committee is therefore concerned with the relation between juvenile 
employment and delinquency for it finds that working children 
contribute far more than their share to the ranks of delinquents. 
Recreation for children must have some interest. If not employed 
and not in school, proper provision must be made for their recrea- 

There must of necessity be close study of the relations of child 
labor to general welfare matters and an intimate cooperation with 
other agencies dealing with the welfare of the child. 

The Committee's ideal is to secure for each child an oppor- 
tunity for normal development through helpful legislation and 
properly directed and co-related educational, social and industrial 
activities affecting children; but it believes that in working 
towards this ideal it must continue to place the main emphasis 
on problems in the field of child labor and take them as points of 

10 The American Child 

Next National Child Labor Conference 

The Seventeenth National Conference on Child Labor will be 
held in Providence, R. I., June 27, in connection with the Forty- 
ninth Annual Meeting of the National Cbnference of Social Work. 

The social work program runs from June 22d to 28th inclusive. 
A large number of leading organizations will hold meetings in Provi- 
dence either immediately prior to or during the week of the National 
Social Work Conference Meeting. The Annual Meeting of the 
Conference draws to itself not only the large membership of the 
Conference, but members of a large number of organizations who 
select the time of the annual meeting of the Conference as the 
occasion for meetings of their organizations, and it is the presence of 
hundreds of members of Kindred Groups which adds greatly to the 
value of the annual meetings of the Conference. It is hoped that 
the National Child Labor Committee's membership will be very 
largely represented at Providence both at our own meeting and at 
the other meetings of the week. 

The Providence Committee on Arrangements for the meeting 
of the National Conference of Social Work requests that those who 
are planning to attend and who desire hotel accommodations write 
as soon as possible for their hotel reservations to Mr. Arthur L. 
Aldred, "Cladding's," Providence, R. I. The Committee is making 
arrangements for the housing of delegates in private homes and 
boarding houses, as well as in hotels. It is expected that, as usual, 
convention passenger rates will apply on the railroads. 

Following is the tentative program for the Providence meeting 
on child labor: 

General Topic: — Children in Street Trades. 

I. Present and Future Tasks of the National Child Labor Com- 
mittee Owen R. Lovejoy 

II. Description and analysis of conditions in cities of ten states: 
In Chicago 

Miss Anne Davis 
In Philadelphia 

Mr. Henry Gideon 
In Massachusetts 

Mrs. Kenneth E. Appel 
In Alabama 

Mrs. Loraine B. Bush 

News From the Child Welfare Field 11 

In Syracuse, N. Y. 

Mrs. Horace Eaton 
In Cincinnati 

Mr. Maurice B. Hexter 
In Dallas 

Mr. Elmer Scott 
In Iowa and Michigan 

Miss Sara A. Brown 
In North CaroUna 

Professor E. C. Lindeman 
In Yonkers, N. Y. 

Miss Anne Hill 

III. (a) Regulation of Street Trades Wiley H. Swift 

(h) General Discussion of a Street Trades City Ordinance or 
State Law 

National Conference of Social Work 

The next annual meeting of the National Conference of Social 
Work will be held in the city of Providence, Rhode Island, June 22d 
to 29th. The Program Committee of the Conference in conjunction 
with the program committees of the various divisions has done 
everything possible to insure the formulation of a program of excep- 
tional interest. 

The subjects for General Session meetings are as follows: 

1. The Changing Fundamentals of Social Work. 
The Family as a Factor in Social Evolution. 

2. Neglected Fundamentals in Children's Work. 

(a) What Fundamentals Are Being Neglected? 

(6) The Superficial Character of Child-caring Work as a Whole. 

3. The Law-breaker and Needed Improvements in His Treatment. 

4. Underlying Concepts in the World Movement for Health. 

5. The Future of a Community in an Industrial Civilization. 

(a) The Place of the Local Community in Organized Society. 
(6) The Effect of Modern Industry on Community Life. 

6. The Functions of Public and Private Agencies in the Social Work of 
the Future. 

7. Racial Diversities and Social Development. 

In addition to these meetings, which are of interest to all mem- 
bers of the Conference regardless of the specific field of social service 
in which they are primarily interested, the Division on Children has 
arranged for the following program: 

12 The American Child 

Section Meeting I 

(a) The General Status of Child Protective Agencies Throughout the 
United States. 

(b) The Relationship Between the Functions of the Juvenile Court and 
those of General Child-caring Agencies. 

Section Meeting II 

Joint Meeting with Inter-city Illegitimacy Conference. 

(a) How far should the Courts guarantee support orders for children of 

unmarried mothers? 
(6) How can we expect mothers to keep their children? 

(c) A study of adoption problems occurring with children of unmarried 

Section Meeting III 

The Spiritual Values of Childhood. 

(a) The Religious Life of the Child. 

(6) The Ethical Values at which Children Naturally Arrive. 

(c) The Aesthetic Sensibihties of Children. 

Section Meeting IV 

(a) What are the minimum quahfications for a good Juvenile Court? 

lb) What are the minimum quahfications of a good training school for 

dehnquent boys? 
(c) What are the minimum qualifications of a good child-placing agency? 

Section Meeting V 

The School's ResponsibiKty for the Leisure Time of the Child. 

It is anticipated that the attendance of members of the Con- 
ference and others interested in social work will be exceptionally 
large this year as Providence is ideally situated as a convention 
city. There will be ample hotel and housing accommodations for all 
who desire to attend. The hotel headquarters for the Conference 
will be in the Hotel Biltmore. This hotel is now practically com- 
pleted and will be one of the largest and finest hotels in New England. 

Child Labor, National, Not Sectional 

"Not only is labor obtained more cheaply in the southern 
states but the hours of labor are longer and child labor is permitted." 
So reads a recent editorial from the Bangor, Maine, Commercial. And 
in the great textile strike in Rhode Island one of the reasons ad- 
vanced for the lengthening of the working day and the reduction 
of wages "is the necessity of meeting the competition of the southern 
cotton mills where child labor is largely employed." 

The National Child Labor Committee protests against this dis- 
paragement of southern mills. In the following open letter to the 

News From the Child Welfare Field 13 

Bangor Commercial, under date of March 9, Owen R. Lovejoy, 
General Secretary of the National Child Labor Committee, wrote: 

''On this point permit me to say that under the Federal Tax 
on Child Labor hours of labor of children in all mills are equalized 
throughout the country. No children under 16 are allowed to work 
in any textile mill for more than 8 hours a day, 48 hours a week, 
or at night. Were it not for this federal law some parts of New 
England would show a very unfavorable comparison with some 
parts of the South. For example: In Alabama, Kentucky and 
Tennessee children under 16 are prohibited by the state law from 
working in mills more than 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week, while 
in Maine such children may work 9 hours a day and 54 hours a 
week. In New Hampshire they may work lOM hours a day and 
54 hours a week, while in Rhode Island they may work 10 hours a 
day and 54 hours a week. In Alabama a child under 16 cannot 
receive an employment certificate unless he has completed the 4th 
grade. Maine does a little better, requiring the completion of the 
6th grade but Rhode Island offsets this advantage by requiring only 
the 'ability to read and write English.* 

"These higher standards in southern states have been estab- 
lished since the enactment of the first Federal Child Labor Law 
and in some instances against stubborn opposition. It would be 
to the credit of New England if Maine and New Hampshire and 
Rhode Island would establish similar standards rather than rely on 
the federal government to drag them up to decent standards." 

Legislation in Rhode Island 

The Legislature of Rhode Island during its 1922 session devoted 
considerable of its time to consideration of social legislation. Sev- 
eral measures in this field were adopted by the Assembly. 

Two bills having the support of the Consmners' League of 
Rhode Island and the National Child Labor Committee were intro- 
duced. One of these bills, providing for an 8-hour day and a 48-hour 
week for children under 16 years of age, working in any factory, 
manufacturing, mechanical, business, or mercantile establishment, 
died in committee. The present law limits the work of such chil- 
dren to 10 hours a day and 54 hours a week. 

14 The American Child 

For many weeks the State has been in the grip of the greatest 
industrial strife of its history. The Assembly maintained the atti- 
tude that it should enact no legislation that might give either side 
an advantage in the present strife, or the stamp of approval, there- 
fore it refused to endorse any measures affecting working hours or 
working conditions even for children. 

The other bill, providing that a child, to secure a work permit, 
must be 14 years of age and be able to read and write simple English 
sentences and have completed a course of study equivalent to six 
yearly grades, was passed by both branches of the Assembly without 
a dissenting vote. The old law provided that, to secure a work per- 
mit, a child must be 14 years of age and be able to read and write 
simple Enghsh sentences. Each permit-issuing officer was the judge 
of the ability of the children who applied for such permits. 

The most serious objection offered to the bill was that it was not 
necessary, as most children going to work, it was said, have finished 
the sixth grade. Those raising this objection, however, had no data 
to prove their contention — no record of this kind is kept by the 
Department of Education. This led to a study which showed facts 
quite contrary to the expressed views of those who raised the objec- 
tion. The study revealed that at least 45 per cent of the children 
obtaining work permits in 1921 had not completed the sixth grade. 
In one of the large manufacturing towns of the State 69 per cent, 
and in another, 59 per cent of the children who secured permits had 
not completed the sixth grade. 

This new law means that children must stay in school until they 
have completed the sixth grade or have become 16 years of age. 
The latest figures on issuance of work permits pubHshed by the Com- 
missioner of Education are for the year 1919. During that year 
8,153 work permits were issued to children 14 and 15 years of age. 
The school census gives 19,248 as the number of 14 and 15-year-old 
children in the State in that year. Work permits then were issued 
to 42.3 per cent of this age group. 

The State Factory Inspector reports, for 1920, 7,243 and, for 
1921, 4,815 children under 16 years of age working in estabhshments 
inspected by him. Of this decrease he says: "The number of child- 
ren employed is the smallest since the year 1900 and the percentage 
of child labor is the lowest in the history of the department. The 
large decrease in the number of children employed can, undoubtedly. 

News From the Child Welfare Field 16 

be largely attributed to the Federal Child Labor Law, which forbids 
the employment of children under 16 years of age in manufacturing 
establishments more than 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week." 

Employers and truant officers, however, express their opinion 
as being that this decrease of child employment is in a large measure 
due to industrial inactivity and that once industry gets on its feet 
there will be an increasing demand for child labor. This new state 
law was enacted at a very opportune time. 

A bill providing for the appointment of a Director of Mothers' 
Aid and appropriating money to finance a study of dependency was 
also endorsed by the Assembly. The object of the study is to learn 
the approximate number of mothers who would be entitled to aid 
and the size of the appropriation that would be necessary to carry 
on such work. There is no mothers' pension law on the statute books 
at present, but it is anticipated that the result of this study will be 
the enactment of an intelligent legislation in 1923. 

Legislation in Other States 

A few important changes in child welfare legislation have been 
effected during the recent state sessions. Virginia has raised its 
compulsory school age and amended its child labor law to provide 
for an adequate employment certificating system. 

Kentucky has adopted several constructive educational meas- 
ures, and enacted into law a bill to create a Kentucky Child Wel- 
fare Commission to continue the work of the Children's Code Com- 
mission. Other measures passed permit juvenile courts to appoint 
volunteer probation officers, give the State Board of Charities and 
Correction exclusive control over minors committed to Houses of 
Reform, and make it a felony to desert a pregnant wife. 

Maryland has established a new Bureau of Child Hygiene in 
the State Department of Health and has passed a law giving the 
State Board of Labor and Statistics authority to exercise vocational 
supervision over mentally retarded children from 14 to 18 years 
of age. 

In Massachusetts child welfare legislation has made very little 
progress. An effort to repeal the 48-hour law was defeated, but all 
attempts to raise the compulsory gcbool age and to regulate the 

16 The American Child 

physical examinations required in employment certificates met the 
same fate, as did an amendment to increase the penalty for illegal 
employment of minors in dangerous trades. 

In New Jersey, there was an unsuccessful attempt to put 
through a statewide street trades law. The New Jersey mothers' 
pension law was slightly amended. 

In New York, the law regulating the age Hmit in specified 
occupations was amended to prohibit delivery work to girls under 
18. The provision governing the return of work permits was also 
amended as well as the vacation permit and street-work permit 
regulations. The truant officers may now enforce the child labor 
law in addition to the newsboy law. 

In Rhode Island, the educational requirements for the work 
permit were raised to the completion of the sixth grade, and the 
law providing for the appointment of a Director of Mothers' Aid 
and appropriating money to finance a study of dependency was 

Children on the Stage 

Can the Pennsylvania child labor law prevent children from 
acting, is a question which has recently been widely discussed at a 
series of public hearings before the State Industrial Board. Accord- 
ing to the terms of the Pennsylvania law, no child under 14 years 
can be gainfully employed in any occupation, or under 16 after 8 
P.M. The Department of Labor and Industry has declared its inten- 
tion of enforcing this law as applying to children on the stage, but 
leaves it in the hands of its Industrial Board to grant exemptions 
to ''exceptional children." 

Various state child welfare organizations and the National Child 
Labor Committee are standing back of a rigid enforcement of the 
child labor law. Theatrical managers, on the other hand, are bitterly 
opposed, and urge the immediate adoption of a licensing system. 
The matter is still unsettled. 

Membership Notes 

The Membership Department of the National Child Labor Com- 
mittee takes this opportunity of acknowledging in the American 

News From the Child Welfare Field 17 

Child its appreciation of the service of all local committees and of 
their individual members. 

Among the recent receipts through local effort are: 

Ridgewood, N. J., through Mrs. W. J. Berry, local treasurer, amounts 

totaling nearly $100 

Summit, N. J., through Mrs. H. B. Twombly, local treasurer, over 200 

Short Hills, N. J., through Mrs. Stuart Hartshorn, local treasurer, over 200 

Glen Ridge, N. J., through Mrs. William H. Sayre, local treasurer, over 100 

Montclair, N. J., through Miss Laura Lewis, local treasurer, over 500 

Dayton, Ohio, through Mr. H. B. Canby, local treasurer, almost 500 

St. Paul, Minn., through Mr. A. G. Driscoll, local treasurer, over 400 

Staten Island, N. Y., through A. J. Wadhams, local treasurer, almost.. 170 

Detroit, Mich., through R. T. Cudmore, local treasurer, nearly.... 3,400 

Forest C. Ensign, State University of Iowa, Iowa City, la., 
has been reappointed this year as local treasurer of Iowa City. In 
addition to sending out a letter appeal, Mr. Ensign and his commit- 
tee are planning ways of reaching his city in a more thorough way 
than has before been attempted. 

H. L. Sage, of Hackensack, N. J., is acting as local treasurer for 

Others who have recently accepted local treasurer appointments 
are: Miss Helen Ammerman, New Bedford, Mass., Miss Mary 
Taylor Blauvelt, Hartford, Conn., Mrs. Lawrence A. Tanzer, Chair- 
man of Civics Education, Westchester Woman's Club, Mt. Vernon, 
N. Y. 

Dr. Herman L. Fairchild, University of Rochester, N. Y., a 
member of the Committee and friend of long standing, has sent in a 
list of 250 names of personal friends and acquaintances with the sug- 
gestion that we appeal to these people for membership in his name. 
Such personal contact is very valuable in our work. The Member- 
ship Department will appreciate it if other members will follow 
Dr. Fairchild's lead. 

From the Kentucky branch of the National Child Labor Com- 
mittee, through Mrs. Bernard Selligman, Treasurer, we have recently 
received memberships totalling $431. 

On April 1st the Membership Department enrolled its youngest 
member — Margaret McClellan of Illinois — aged one day. A friend 
of the organization sent Baby Margaret a membership in this Com- 
mittee instead of flowers — a suggestion that we hope may establish 
a precedent to other well-wishers of the National Child Labor 

18 The American Child 

In Michigan 

As the May American Child goes to press, the gratifying 
information comes from Michigan of the organization of member- 
ship committees for the National Child Labor Committee in Detroit, 
Kalamazoo County, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, and Jackson. Plans 
for similar organizations are under way in Saginaw County, Ann 
Arbor, Albion, and Lansing. 

Detroit leads the list with a report of $5,000 already secured 
in pledges and subscriptions. The Detroit Committee is composed 
of Mrs. H. J. Maxwell Grylls, serving as chairman; Richard T. 
Cudmore, of the People's State Bank, as treasurer; Mrs. G. Leon 
Haywood, assistant treasurer; Mrs. M. P. Cogswell, Mrs. L. Edwards 
and Miss Phylissa Watts, secretaries; and an executive committee 
composed of the leaders in every important woman's organization in 
the city. This committee is reorganizing for permanent local and 
state work, as well as for continuing to develop interest in the 
membership of the National Coromittee. 

The Grand Rapids membership work is sponsored by the Grand 
Rapids Child Labor Association, Mrs. Joseph W. Roche, President, 
through the appointment of a special committee on National Mem- 
bership. The Kalamazoo County Branch of the National Child 
Labor Committee is working for National membership subscriptions 
with Mrs. S. Rudolph Light, chairman, Mrs. Anne B. Schanz, sec- 
retary. Miss Lily Phelps, of Kalamazoo National Bank, treasurer, 
Mrs. CaroHne Bartlett Crane, chairman of speakers' committee, and 
Miss Trafford, chairman for township organization. Mrs. J. H. 
Myers has been appointed chairman of the Jackson Branch and 
Mrs. George D. Burch of the Battle Creek Branch. 

The Kalamazoo, Michigan, branch of the National Child Labor 
Committee, established last month, is out for a $2,000 quota in 
memberships. Mrs. S. B. Light is chairman, Mrs. Anna Schanz, 
secretary, and Miss Lily Phelps, treasurer. 

Mrs. Edward J. Jeffries of Detroit is Michigan's State Chair- 
man for the National Child Labor Committee. The Michigan State 
Executive Committee will consist of the chairman from each city. 

It is hoped that the slogan ''Ten thousand members in Michi- 
gan" will not only result in that strength for the National work, 
but in the strong public opinion needed to help the rural child sit- 
uation in Michigan, and that the splendid example of Michigan's 

News From the Child Welfare Field 19 

organization for the National and state work, will be copied by 
every state in the Union. 

Child Labor Day in Coblenz 

Child Labor Day in America was celebrated this year with much 
spirit in Coblenz, Germany. The protagonists of the observance 
were the A. F. G. 

The National Child Labor Committee membership campaign, 
beginning January 29th in Coblenz, was the inspiration of Captain 
Milton A. Lowenberg, Q. M. C, American Forces in Germany. 
When Captain Lowenberg, for long a member of this Committee, 
received a National Child Labor Committee appeal beginning ''Child 
Labor Day in 1922 will be what you make it," he decided to make it, 
even in Germany. Inamediately he dispatched a cable to New York 
asking the Committee to rush campaign hterature. 

Through Captain Lowenberg's membership campaign, which in- 
cluded publicity in the Amaroc News, the official newspaper of the 
American Forces in Germany, booths and bulletin board displays, 
over 200 officers, privates, nurses and doctors in the American unit 
in Coblenz joined the Committee. Nearly $500 was subscribed in 
memberships. This was the largest cash return made by any city 
as a result of Child Labor Day observance. 

Columbia Using "Rural ChUd Welfare" 

Miss Mabel Carney, Professor of Rural Education in Teachers 
College, Columbia University, writes as follows about ''Rural Child 
Welfare," a report and discussion by the field staff of the National 
Child Labor Committee: 

"This is, in my judgment, a remarkable book on a vital 
subject, and one which deserves the widest publicity and atten- 
tion. We are already using it here abundantly and I assure you 
that it will be a privilege to recommend it whenever possible." 

Dr. Kenyon L. Butterfield, President of the Massachusetts 
Agricultural College and of the American Country Life Association, 
says : 

"I am very much impressed with the scope and quality of 

the report and congratulate you on it." 

20 The Americcm Child 

Professor Frank H. Hankins, head of the Department of Soci- 
ology, Clark University, writes: 

'The book is very attractively gotten up and its contents 
are extraordinarily good. I think you are quite right in empha- 
sizing the tremendous importance of play as the basis of the 
physical, intellectual and moral development of children. It 
is a natural and spontaneous expression of organic tendencies 
and character traits and I believe, with you, it is absolutely 
essential for normal development. 

Professor E. C. Branson, head of the Department of Rural 
Sociology, University of North CaroHna, has adopted ''Rural Child 
Welfare" for use in his summer courses. 

Nat T. Frame, Director of Agricultural Extension, West Vir- 
ginia University, says: "We are hoping that a copy of 'Rural Child 
Welfare^ will be read carefully by every extension worker, school 
teacher. Farm Bureau member, and other country life leaders in 
West Virginia." 

Readers of the American Child may secure copies of "Rural 
Child Welfare" at the special price of $2. Address National Child 
Labor Committee, 105 East 22d Street, New York City. See inside 
back cover of this issue of the American Child for a description 
of the volume. 

A Review of "Rural Child Welfare" 

In The Survey for April 15th Miss Ruth Metzger writes of "Rural 
Child Welfare" as follows: 

"City people who have always looked upon country hfe as an 
unmixed blessing for children are far from realizing the tremendous 
handicaps of rural childhood in communities where the more aggres- 
sive members have left the farms, or the tide of civilization has turned 
aside to follow the good roads and the railways. The National Child 
Labor Committee has done a bit of long needed investigation in the 
cause of children on the farms, choosing West Virginia as its field of 
activity. On account of the varied topography and soil this state 
presents a range of problems fairly representative of rural conditions 
all over the country. There are lonely mountain settlers who have 
intermarried in their isolation until ten feebleminded children are 
found in one home; there are farm communities where the f'our-H 

News From the Child Welfare Field 21 

clubs guided by state agents have brought families into co-operation 
and made it possible for boys and girls to attend the state agricul- 
tural college and spend part of their vacation in summer camps with 
other children. Between these extremes are many more aspects of 
farm life that need intelligent consideration by the people who form 
or influence the laws relating to child welfare, and by the people who 
actually Hve in rural districts. 

"Under the direction of Edward N. Clopper, the author of Child 
Labor in City Streets, seven men and women have made this scien- 
tific study of the relations of the rural child to his home, school, com- 
munity and state, and provided excellent and reHable material for 
practical purposes; presenting it, at the same time, in such form 
that a sympathetic picture is readily created by the reader. Laws 
relating to marriage, taxation, schooling, labor and delinquency are 
discussed, and the method of their enforcement with suggestions, 
for improvement given. Lewis W. Hine's photographs dramatize 
the story. 

''Lack of mentality, lack of opportunity, lack of training, are 
primarily at the root of the farm families^ misery. West Virginia is 
making an effort to do effective work along all three lines, partly 
through the Four-H clubs that help develop the head, the hand, the 
heart and the health of the child, and partly through state laws. 
But, as Mr. Clopper points out better days for the rural child are 
coming only when its parents realize that it should get a square deal, 
and at present this is not the case. 'Country people must bring 
about the dawn themselves,' he says, 'and they can do it if they will 
but look at the child's needs from the point of view of the child 
instead of from their own and then take action, partly individual 
and partly joint, that common sense dictates. They who would be 
saved must save themselves.' It is high time that this conception 
of the rights and importance of childhood penetrate to farm com- 
munities where idleness and play are still synonymous." 

Child Labor in Serbia 

The following comes from Dr. Rudolph R. Reeder, of the Ameri- 
can Commission to Serbia: Aside from ignorance in health matters 
which our Commission is attempting to make headway against, the 
main problems of childhood seem to be (1) a dearth of educational 

22 The American Child 

advantages, especially school houses and teachers, in which the girls 
suffer more than the boys; (2) lack of play in practically all forms, 
and (3) child labor. The last will be hard to do anything to alleviate 
as this is an agricultural country with about 95 per cent a peasant 
population. Children begin knitting and tending sheep when about 
five years old and gradually emerge into illiterate field workers and 
weavers. The women who work hardest have practically stopped 
using their brains and few of them seem capable of learning to care 
for a baby — hence a high infant mortality rate. 

Child Nature, the Law and the Courts 

In various issues of the American Child we have published 
material showing the very large influence which the characteristic 
instincts and impulses of childhood exert in the causation of indus- 
trial accident. The psychological side of industrial accident to 
boys and girls is pretty well established. Besides playfulness there 
is curiosity and there is the general irresponsibility of children. 
There is also adolescent awkwardness. Many other factors operate. 
In the American Child for February we had occasion to report 
a decision of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin involving the psy- 
chology of childhood and, by adherence to legal tradition and tech- 
nicality, setting aside the award of the State Industrial Commission 
in the case of an injured minor. 

We now have a decision* of the United States Supreme Court 
that suggests this same issue between child nature and draconian 
legalism. It seems that on the outskirts of lola, Kansas, there is 
a tract of land about twenty acres in extent, upon which formerly 
there stood a plant for the making of sulphuric acid and zinc spelter. 
In 1910, the owner tore the building down but left a basement and 
cellar, in which, in July, 1916, there lay a body of water, clear in 
appearance but in fact dangerously poisoned by sulphuric acid and 
zinc sulphate that had come in one way or another from the owner's 
works. It appears that the owner knew of this water and of its 
poison character. A family, travelling through that country, en- 
camped at some distance from the tract of land containing the 
poisoned pond. The children of this family, eight and eleven years 

* United Zinc and Chemical Company, Petitioner, vs. Van Britt aud Susie 
Britt. No. 164. October Term, 1921. 

News From the Child Welfare Field 23 

old, went upon the land and into the wat^r, were poisoned and died. 
In the trial court, the next of kin of the children received a verdict 
and judgment which was affinried by the Circuit Court of Appc^als 
but reversed March 27, 1922, by the United States Supreme Court. 

The Supreme Court, though recognizing the existence of the 
srw^alled "humane doctrine'* in cases involving "attractive nuis- 
ances,'' remarked that "infants have no greater right to go upon 
other people's land than adults, and the mere fact that they are 
infants imposes no duty upon landowners to expcict them and to 
prepare for their safety." The Court declared that there existed 
no explicit or implied invitation to enter upon the propcjrty. "In 
the casfi at bar it is at least doubtful whether the water could be 
sfjen from any place where the children lawfully were and there is 
no evidence that it was that that led them to entfir the land. But 
that is necessary to start the supposed duty. There can be no 
general duty on the part of the landowner to keep his land safe 
for children, or even free from hidden dangers, if he has not directly 
or by implication invited or licensed them to come there. ... It 
is suggested that the roads across the place were invitations. A 
road is not an invitation to leave it ebewhere than at its end." 

The decision was delivered by a six to three vote. Chief Jus- 
tice Taft, Mr. Justice Day and Mr. Justice Clarke dissented, hold- 
ing for the applicability of the "humane doctrine" in this case as 
against the so-called "hard doctrine." Mr. Justice Clarke wrote 
the dissenting opinion, in which he said: 

"In 1873, in Railroad Company v. Stout, 17 Wall. 657, this court, in 
a turntahle cane, in a unanimoun decision, etrongly approved the doctrine 
that he who places upon his land, where children of tender years are likely 
to go, a construction or agency, in its nature attractive, and therefore a 
temptation, to such children, is culpably negligent if he does not take 
reasonable care to keep them away, or to see that such dangerous thing 
is so guarded that they will not be injured by it when following the instincts 
and impulwjs of childhood, of which all mankind has notice. The court 
also held that where the facts are such that different minrls may honestly 
draw different conclusions from them, the case should go to the jury. 

"Twenty years later the principle of this Btout casf; was elaborately 
re-examined and unreservedly affirmed, again in a unanimotjs dwision in 
Union Pacific Railway Company v. McDonald, 1.52 U. H, 202, In each of 
these cases the contention that a child of tender years rniist be held to the 
same understanding of the law with respect to property rights as an adult 
and that therefore, under the circumstances of each, the child injured wa« 

24 The American Child 

a trespasser, was considered and emphatically rejected. The attractiveness 
of the unguarded construction or agency, the temptation of it to children — 
is an invitation to enter the premises that purges their technical trespass. 
These have been regarded as leading cases on the subject for now almost 
fifty years and have been widely followed by state and federal courts, — 
by the latter so recently as 265 Fed .Rep. 192 and 271 Fed. Rep. 287. . . . 
"Believing as I do that the doctrine of the Stout and McDonald cases, 
giving weight to, and making allowance, as they do, for the instincts and 
habitual conduct of children of tender years, is a sound doctrine, calculated 
to make men more reasonably considerate of the safety of the children of 
their neighbors, than will the harsh rule which makes trespassers of Uttle 
children which the court is not substituting for it, I cannot share in setting 
aside the verdict, of the jury in this case, approved by the judgments of 
two courts, upon what is plainly a disputed question of fact and in thereby 
overruling two decisions which have been accepted as leading authorities 
for half a century, and I therefore dissent from the judgment and opinion 
of the court." 

The decision of the Supreme Court has a good deal of signifi- 
cance for all who are concerned in securing for children the rights 
of children. The rights of children, legal and other, are founded 
ultimately on humanely natural instincts, impulses, desires, and needs. 

Joint Committee on Prevention of Delinquency 

The Commonwealth Fund of New York has recently announced 
plans for a five-year, nation-wide demonstration of methods for the 
prevention of delinquency. The New York School of Social Work, 
the Public Education Association of New York operating through 
a recently organized National Committee of Visiting Teachers, and 
the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, together with the 
newly created Joint Committee on Methods of Preventing Delin- 
quency will cooperate in the demonstration. 

The program is based upon the belief that maladjustment in 
childhood is a predisposing cause of adult delinquency and that 
dehnquency can be more successfully handled when first indications 
of something wrong appear than later when the pattern is set. 
Studies conducted by psychiatrists attached to courts and penal 
institutions indicate that a majority of the individuals they examine 
have from early childhood shown abnormalities of conduct which 
are recognized as such by their families and their associates aiid the 
evidence seems to show that in many ^uch cases early diagnosis 

i m many si; 


News From the Child Welfare Field 25 

and treatment might have altogether prevented any serious wrong- 
doing. Effort will, accordingly, be centered on the child of public 
school age. 

The New York School of Social Work has estabhshed a psychia- 
tric clinic, known as the Bureau of Children's Guidance, under the 
directorship of Dr. Bernard Glueck, to which problem children from 
certain public schools in New York City are being sent for thorough 
study and treatment. Students from the School of Social Work, 
and the visiting teachers whom the Public Education Association 
has placed in each school reached by the Bureau, will provide the 
field service for the clinic. 

The Commonwealth Fund has offered fifteen scholarships of 
$1,200 each at the New York School of Social Work, which will be 
awarded annually by a committee consisting of the directors of the 
School of Social Work, the Commonwealth Fund, and the Bureau 
of Children's Guidance, to persons desiring to fit themselves for 
work as visiting teachers, probation officers, or psychiatric social 

The National Committee on Visiting Teachers plans within the 
next three years to place visiting teachers in at least 30 cities in 
which this particular form of social service has not hitherto been 
available. Two-thirds of the salaries of these teachers will be paid 
over a period of three years by the Commonwealth Fund, and one- 
third by the community making application. Choice of places for 
the demonstration will be made and teachers will be chosen and 
supervised by the National Committee on Visiting Teachers. Miss 
Jane Culbert, staff executive of visiting teachers for the Public 
Education Association, will be field representative of the Committee. 

The third cooperating agency, the National Committee for 
Mental Hygiene, has created a new division on the Prevention of 
Delinquency, of which Dr. V. V. Anderson has been made director, 
which will demonstrate the value of psychiatric clinics in juvenile 
courts by sending out to courts requesting it, a traveUing clinic 
staffed with a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a psychiatric social 
worker. One clinic of this sort is already at work in the St. Louis 
Juvenile Court. The psychiatric work in the Monmouth County 
Demonstration of Child Welfare is also under the direction of this 

The Joint Committee on Delinquency, imder the directorship 


26 The American Child 

of Arthur W. Towne, has been formed to coordinate the activities 
of the three agencies sharing in the program and to analyze and 
pubhsh the results of their work and of other activities in the same 
field. Miss Mabel Brown Ellis, formerly with the National Child 
Labor Committee, is now a special representative with the Joint 

The Commonwealth Fund has made an initial appropriation 
of $165,950 for the expenses of the first year and plans to carry on 
the work for at least five years. It will not necessarily confine 
itself to the program as here outlined, but may consider other con- 
structive means of demonstrating the possibility of decreasing the 
volume of adult delinquency by better understanding and wiser 
treatment of the school child. 

Negro Women in Tobacco Factories 

In a study of eighty-five of the negro women working in the 
tobacco factories of Virginia, made by Emma L. Shields of the 
Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor, cases were found 
where these women had gone to work between the ages of 8 and 12; 
had rehandled tobacco (entailing breathing of quantities of dust and 
moving heavy weights) for thirty years or more, going to work at 
6:30 A.M. even in winter, and returning at 7 p.m., very often; worked 
for considerable stretches 10 hours a day and 55 hours a week, and 
got only $11 or $12 for all this drudgery. 

Twenty-one of the eighty-five women had never gone to school, 
twelve of them dropped out in the second grade, seven left in the 
third, twenty-one went no further than the fourth grade, and only 
three finished high school. In season, 72 per cent earned less than 
$12, 19 per cent less than $9, and only one woman received over $16. 
These women had been tobacco workers for periods ranging from 
six months to forty-two years. Thirteen women had worked more 
than thirty years. Over 42 per cent had been working since 12 
years of age or younger. At the time of the study, 58 per cent were 
working a 55-hour week, 38 per cent a 50-hour week. There was 
also frequent overtime work so that the working week was often 
much longer. 

As for home conditions, 66 per cent had to take complete care 
of their homes themselves; and 30 per cent attended to their homes 

News From the Child Welfare Field 27 

before and after work. Many of them are not only handicapped by 
lack of funds but by their manifold duties of earning money, keeping 
house and caring for the sick members of the family. The mothers 
send their children to work just as soon as the law allows. Some of 
the results of this sort of family life are simimed up by Miss Shields : 
"Life in each generation was bounded on all sides by the same 
influences. In the factory, nothing elevating or improving was 
afforded the workers; home influences were no better, for the wages 
were so low that the workers were forced to select the poorest of 
homes in localities so undesirable and unhealthful that the environ- 
ment naturally would react on the lives of the persons within it. 
There thus resulted a class consciousness among those workers, 
which was expressed in their suspicion of other groups, their con- 
centration on their own interests and their maladjustment to the 
communities in which they lived." 

Health Examination of Working Children 

The Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries is pub- 
lishing a form for use in the examination of children applying for 
employment certificates. This form covers the main points given 
in the one recommended by the Children's Bureau, but is much less 
detailed. The Department recommends that school physicians as- 
signed to examining children for health certificates use this schedule. 
Copies will be furnished on application. 

At the present time there is no standard form for this purpose 
in use in the State. A few physicians have their own records; but 
in the majority of instances no form is used, so no permanent record 
is kept. It is important that the results of the examination should 
be recorded and kept on file in the oflftce from which the employment 
certificate is issued. By this means it is possible, when the child 
returns for another certificate, to check the examination with the 
result of the previous one, to ascertain whether defects noted at the 
former time have been corrected, and to secure some information 
as to the effect of the work on the child's health. 

A standard form for all issuing oflSces is desirable, in order that 
there may be greater uniformity in practice throughout the State, 
and in order to insure that the examination made covers all the essen- 
tial requirements. It is hoped that the use of the proposed schedule 

28 The American Child 

will assist in bringing about these results and will secure a more 
thorough and careful examination of children applying for employ- 
ment certificates than is the case at the present time. The Depart- 
ment is also preparing a handbook explaining the procedure in issu- 
ing employment and health certificates and badges for street trades. 
This will contain a section on the health certification of working 
children, with reproduction of the new forms. 

Child Health Demonstration 

The Child Health Demonstration, under the auspices of the 
National Child Health Council, of which the National Child Labor 
Committee is a member, is proceeding according to plans already 
described in the American Child. The locality selected was Mans- 
field, Ohio, with Richland County, of which Mansfield is the county 
seat. The Council chose as director of the demonstration, Dr. 
Walter H. Brown, who began work in October, 1921. The staff on 
January 1, 1922, consisted of a statistician, a nurse, and a health 
education director. 

An Advisory Council, representing the leading professional, busi- 
ness and labor groups in the commimity, has been formed, to assume 
the community's responsibility for its part in this national experi- 
ment. Among those who have joined forces in cordial support of 
this undertaking are the Board of Health, the Medical Society, the 
dentists, the various social agencies, the schools, the hospitals, and, 
in fact, all agencies and organizations which can assist in an active 
or advisory capacity. The appointment by the Board of Education 
of a staff member of the demonstration as director of health education 
in the public schools and similar close relationships with the county 
educational authorities are examples of the excellent co-operation 
developed so far. 

One of the next important steps will be a fairly comprehensive 
study of health conditions in the city and county. 

Survey in Erie County, New York 

That there should be better relations between the field repre- 
sentatives of national organizations who serve the communities and 
states of the nation has been a patent fact for some time but hitherto 

News From the Child Welfare Field 29 

little has been done about it. In recent years, however, there has 
been a marked broadening and extension of the activities and con- 
tacts of many national associations and agencies. This has made it 
increasingly important, from the point of view of both the communi- 
ties served and of state and national organizations, that this difficult 
question of co-ordination in field work shall receive practical con- 
sideration. The organizations composing the National Child Health 
Council welcome particularly the interest of state and local repre- 
sentatives in this problem, and believe that the whole matter should 
be studied in the light of the community's own needs. 

In Erie County, New York, at the instance of the National Child 
Health Council, a step was recently taken toward the development 
of a vahd plan of field co-ordination. Seven national and two state 
agencies joined, in December, 1921, over a period of two weeks, in a 
co-operative inquiry into conditions relating to child health. This 
was undertaken upon the joint invitation of practically every public 
and private agency interested in the health of children of Erie County 
and with the friendly co-operation of the State Departments of 
Health and Education. This study has been completed and a ten- 
tative report of it has been prepared. It is primarily directed to the 
purpose of assisting in the development of strong and correlated 
efforts for meeting local problems relating to the health of children. 
It was not intended as an exhaustive or even a thoroughly compre- 
hensive survey. The fact that it was carried out with the successful 
co-operation of the organizations participating in it is one of the 
chief points of interest from the standpoint of national co-ordination. 
It is a first step in plans for the development of the best methods of 
relating national organizations to one another and to state agencies 
in their service, in the interests of the local communities. 


Active preparations are under way for the meeting in Rio de 
Janeiro, of the Third Pan-American Congress of Child Welfare, which 
will take place August 27th to September 5, 1922, in connection with 
the official program commemorating the centenary of Brazilian in- 
dependence. It should be noted that the sessions of the First Brazil- 

30 The American Child 

ian Child Welfare Convention will be held conjointly with those of 
the Pan-American Congress. — Bulletin of the Pan-American Unions 
April, 1922. 

Social service now has a professional organization in the American 
Association of Social Workers, 130 East 22d Street. Since the 
National Conference of Social Work in Milwaukee last spring the 
members of this Association, formerly the National Social Workers 
Exchange, have been developing a program similar in purpose to 
that of the American Medical Association, the American Bar Asso- 
ciation and the Engineering societies. Between fifteen and thirty 
thousand people in the United States are engaged in some kind of 
professional social service. 

In the Year Book and Annual Report of the Playground and 
Recreation Association of America appear some interesting "Recrea- 
tion Facts," referring to the year 1921 : 502 cities report 4,584 centers 
under paid leadership; the largest number since the Year Book has 
been pubhshed. Eleven thousand and seventy-nine workers were 
employed to direct play at these centers. Fifty-one cities report 
playgrounds and recreation centers established for the first time. 
Two hundred and forty-four cities report work supported entirely by 
municipal funds. Fifty-three cities report playgrounds donated; 
eighteen of this number placing the value of the property at $1,182,- 
700. Nearly $9,000,000 was spent for recreation by 458 cities. 

A large group of men and women prominent in social work and 
pubHc affairs attended on April 25th a dinner given as a tribute to 
Dr. S. Josephine Baker, who has headed the Bureau of Child Hygiene 
in the New York City Department of Health since the creation of 
the Bureau in 1908. Miss Lillian D. Wald concludes a sketch and 
appreciation of Dr. Baker in The Survey with these words: "It is 
pleasant to record the importance of the task accomplished and the 
quality of the service rendered by Dr. Baker, and the recognition of 
it at this time when her ardor is unabated and her vigor undiminished 
— when we can hopefully anticipate twenty more years (at least) of 
service to the children and through them a brighter future." 

The Fiftieth Anniversary of the New York State Charities Aid 
Association will be observed by meetings in New York City May 

News From the Child Welfare Field 31 

11th and 12th. Colonel Homer Folks, Vice-Chairman of the National 
Child Labor Committee, has been Secretary of the Association for 
twenty-nine years. 

Raymond G. Fuller, of the staff of the National Child Labor 
Committee, has been appointed a member of the special committee 
on rural school attendance. Department of Rural Education, Na- 
tional Education Association. 

An increase of 8 per cent in the average daily school attendance 
throughout the State of Pennsylvania and of 3.67 per cent in regu- 
larity of attendance as compared with the records of last year is 
reported by the director of the attendance bureau of the Department 
of Public Instruction. This is due to better enforcement of the com- 
pulsory education laws. — Pittsburgh Press, March 26, 1922. 

An inquiry into the conditions of labor for young workers from 
15 to 18 years of age and the adequacy of existing provisions for 
their physical, intellectual, and moral development, is to be made 
by the Flemish Parliament. The object of the inquiry is to obtain 
data with a view to legislative measures for the protection of young 
persons. — Industrial and Labour Information, International Labour 
Office, March 10, 1922. 

A National Child Labor Committee benefit, including an artists' 
concert, bazaar and tea in the afternoon and a dance with specialties 
in the evening was arranged at the Carroll Club, New York City, 
for April nineteenth. The Club was turned over to the Committee 
for the entire day through the courtesy of Mrs. Evelyn Tobey, 
Director. The artists giving their services for the afternoon's pro- 
gram were: Miss Julia Arthur, in recitations; Madame Alma 
Clayburgh, soprano; Miss Beatrice Herford, in monologues; Mr. 
Bronislaw Huberman, violin; Miss Esther Rhoades, harp; Miss 
Dorothy Smoller, dance; and Miss Laurette Taylor, with her lead- 
ing man, Mr. Frank Thomas, in a *'One Word Sketch." At the 
dance in the evening. Miss Smoller and Miss Rhoades appeared 
again. Patronesses of the Concert and Dance were : Mrs. Schuyler 
Warren, Chairman; Mrs. Harold Henderson, Mrs. Charles T. 
Hirsch, Mrs. Outerbridge Horsey, Mrs. John D. Ryan, Mrs. EUsha 
Walker, Mrs. C. B. Wyatt. 

32 The American Child 

A special matinee performance of "Aida" was given at the 
Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, on Thursday, April 6, 
as a benefit for the National Child Labor Committee. The title 
role of the opera was sung by Claudia Muzio, Manuel Salazar sang 
the role of Radames, Jeanne Gordon took the part of Amneris, and 
Guiseppe De Luca sang Amonasro. 

Immediate work for the Sheppard-Towner Act in every state of 
the Union is to be the principal work on Child Welfare of the Na- 
tional League of Women Voters in the coming year. State measures 
which will be worked for in states which are ready for such action 
will be in harmony with the recommendations of the "Minimum 
Standards for Child Welfare" adopted by the Children's Bureau 
Conference of 1919, with particular emphasis upon state school 
attendance and child labor laws. 


God though this life is but a wraith. 
Although we know not what we use, 

Although we grope with little faith, 
Give me the heart to fight — and lose. 

Ever insurgent let me be. 

Make me more daring than devout; 
From sleek contentment keep me free, 

And fill me with a buoyant doubt. 

Open my eyes to visions girt 

With beauty, and with wonder lit — 

But let me always see the dirt. 
And all that spawn and die in it. 

Open my ears to music; let 

Me thrill with Spring's first flutes and drums — 
But never let me dare forget 

The bitter ballads of the slums. 

From compromise and things half done, 
Keep me, with stern and stubborn pride, 

And when, at last, the fight is won, 
God keep me still unsatisfied. 

— Louis Uniermeyer. 

OII|0 Amertratt (ElftlJi 

A Journal of Constructive Democracy 
Published Quarterly 

Owen R. Lovejoy -------- Editor 

Raymond G. Fuller ------- Managing Editor 

Associate Editors 
Clara Seeger Carpenter Harriet Bond Skidmore 

Contributing Editors 
Charles E. Gibbons Wiley H. Swift 

Yearly subscription, four issues, two dollars. Single copies fifty cents. 

105 East 22nd Street - - New York City 

Contributors to this Issue 

George A. Hall is executive secretary of the New York State Commission 
to Examine Laws Relating to Child Welfare. 

Ethel M. Johnson is Assistant Commissioner, Department of Labor and 
Industries, C )mmonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Madeleine Hunt Appel is acting secretary of the Massachusetts Child 
Labor Committee. 

Raymond G. Fuller, of the staff of the National Child Labor Committee, 
is author of forthcoming books on "The Meaning of Child Labor" and "The 
Right to Childhood." 




The third general conference of the International Labor Organi- 
zation of the League of Nations was held at Geneva last fall. We 
have received the official texts of the draft conventions which were 
adopted and bore reference to the employment of children. These 
draft conventions will be submitted for ratification to the legislatures 
of the several countries comprising the League of Nations, and will 
come into force, as between the ratifying nations, at the day on 
which the ratification of two member nations of the International 
Labor Organization have been registered by the Secretary-General. 

One of the most interesting and significant of the draft conven- 
tions adopted at Geneva is that concerning the admission of children 
to employment in agriculture. 

Article I provides as follows: "Children under the age of four- 
teen years may not be employed or work in any public or private 
agricultural undertaking, or in any branch thereof, save outside the 
hours of school attendance. If they are employed outside the hours 
of school attendance, the employment shall not be such as to cause 
prejudice to their attendance at school." 

Articles II and III read: 'Tor the purpose of practical vocational 
instruction the periods of the hours of school attendance may be so 
arranged as to permit the employment of children on light agricul- 
tural work and in particular on light work connected with the harvest 
provided that such employment shall not reduce the total annual 
period of school attendance to less than eight months." 

'The provisions of Article I shall not apply to work done by 
children in technical schools, provided that such work is approved 
and supervised by public authority." 

The Labor Conference also adopted several ''recommendations" 
relating to agriculture. One of them is: "That each Member of the 
International Labor Organization endeavor to develop vocational 
agricultural education and in particular to make such education 


International Child Labor Legislation 35 

available to agricultural wage-earners on the same conditions as to 
other persons engaged in agriculture." 

The Conference further recommended : 

"I. That the Members of the International Labor Organization 
take steps to regulate the employment of children under the age 
of 14 years in agricultural undertakings during the night in such 
a way as to insure to them a period of rest compatible with their 
physical necessities and consisting of not less than 10 consecutive 

"II. That the Members of the International Labor Organization 
take steps to regulate the employment of young persons between the 
ages of 14 and 18 years in agricultural undertakings during the 
night in such a way as to insure to them a period of rest compatible 
with their physical necessities and consisting of not less than 9 
consecutive hours. 

Also — ''That each Member of the International Labor Organi- 
zation take measures to insure to women wage-earners employed in 
agricultural undertakings protection before and after childbirth sim- 
ilar to that provided by the Draft Convention adopted by the Inter- 
national Labor Conference at Washington for women employed in 
industry and commerce, and that such measures should include the 
right to a period of absence from work before and after childbirth 
and to a grant of benefit during the said period, provided either out 
of public funds or by means of a system of insurance." 

A draft convention was adopted fixing the minimum age for the 
admission of young persons to employment as trimmers or stokers 
on vessels: 

"Article I. For the purpose of this Convention, the term 

Vessel' includes all ships and boats, of any nature whatsoever, 

engaged in maritime navigation, whether publicly or privately 

owned; it excludes ships of war. 

"Article II. Young persons under the age of eighteen years 

shall not be employed or work on vessels as trimmers or stokers. 
"Article III. The provisions of Article II shall not apply: 
(a) to work done by young persons on school-ships or train- 
ing-ships, provided that such work is approved and supervised 

by public authority; 

(6) to the employment of young persons on vessels mainly 

propelled by other means than steam; 

36 The American Child 

(c) to young persons of not less than sixteen years of age, 
who if found physically fit after medical examination, may be 
employed as trimmers or stokers on vessels exclusively engaged 
in the costal trade of India and of Japan, subject to regulations 
made after consultation with the most representative organiza- 
tions of employers and workers in those countries. 

^'Article IV. When a trimmer or stoker is required in a port 
where young persons of less than eighteen years of age only are 
available, such young persons may be employed, and in that 
case it shall be necessary to engage two young persons in place 
of the trimmer or stoker required. Such young persons shall be 
at least sixteen years of age. 

"Article V. In order to facilitate the enforcement of the 
provisions of this Convention, every shipmaster shall be re- 
quired to keep a register of all persons under the age of eighteen 
years employed on board his vessel, or a list of them in the arti- 
cles of agreement, and of the dates of their births." 

Still another of the draft conventions adopted provides that: 

''The employment of any child or young person under 18 years 
of age on any vessel other than vessels upon which only members of 
the same family are employed, shall be conditional on the production 
of a medical certificate attesting fitness for such work, signed by a 
doctor who shall be approved by the competent authority. 

''The continued employment at sea of any such child or young 
person shall be subject to the repetition of such medical examination 
at intervals of not more than one year, and the production, after 
each such examination, of a further medical certificate attesting fit- 
ness for such work. Should a medical certificate expire in the course 
of a voyage, it shall remain in force until the end of the said voyage. 

"In urgent cases, the competent authority may allow a young 
person below the age of 18 to embark without having undergone the 
examination provided for in Articles II and III of this Convention, 
always provided that such an examination shall be undergone at the 
first port at which the vessel calls." 

It will be remembered that, at the second International Labor 
Conference, held at Genoa in 1920, a draft convention was adopted 
providing that: "Children under the age of 14 years shall ilot be 
employed or work on vessels other than vessels upon which only 

International Child Labor Legislation 37 

members of the same family are employed." This restriction was 
not to apply to work done by children on school-ships or training- 
ships if such work were approved and supervised by public authority. 

In Washington in 1919, where the first International Labor Con- 
ference was held, a draft convention was adopted applying to the 
admission of children in industrial undertakings: ** Children under 
the age of 14 years shall not be employed or work in any public or 
private industrial undertaking, or in any branch thereof, other than 
an undertaking in which only members of the same family are em- 
ployed." The term "industrial undertaking" was lengthily defined 
in the draft convention, which was published in full in the American 
Child for November, 1919. Incorporated in the provisions of the 
Convention were several special modifications applying separately 
to Japan and to India. 

The Washington Conference adopted a draft convention con- 
cerning the night work of young persons employed in industry, pro- 
viding that — ''Young persons under eighteen years of age shall not 
be employed during the night in any public or private industrial 
undertaking, or in any branch thereof, other than an undertaking in 
which only members of the same family are employed, except as 
hereinafter provided for. 

"Young persons over the age of sixteen may be employed during 
the night in the following industrial undertakings on work which by 
reason of the nature of the process, is required to be carried on con- 
tinuously day and night: 

(a) Manufacture of iron and steel; processes in which re- 
verberatory or regenerative furnaces are used, and galvanizing 
of sheet metal or wire (except the pickling process). 

(b) Glass works. 

(c) Manufacture of paper. 

{d) Manufacture of raw sugar. 
{e) Gold mining reduction work." 
There was also a recommendation that, "in view of the danger 
involved to the function of maternity and to the physical develop- 
ment of children, women and young persons under the age of eighteen 
years be excluded from employment" in certain enumerated processes 
involving the danger of lead poisoning. 

The following members of the League of Nations have passed 
acts providing for the ratification of, or giving effect to, the Wash- 

38 The American Child 

ington draft convention fixing the minimum age for admission of chil- 
dren to industrial employment : British Columbia, Belgium, Czecho- 
slovakia, Great Britain, Greece, Roumania. 

The Washington Convention relating to night work of young 
persons has been adopted by: British Columbia, Belgium, Denmark, 
Great Britain, Greece, Roumania. 

Bills are known to have been introduced providing for the rati- 
fication or giving effect to both of these Washington draft conven- 
tions in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, France, Italy, 
Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. Germany 
has a bill fixing the minimum age in accordance with the draft con- 
vention, and Poland a bill concerning night work of young persons. 
Some of these countries have adopted one or both of these draft 
conventions, but their action had not, at last accounts, been officially 
reported to the office of the International Labor Organization. 

Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Sweden have passed measures 
ratifying or giving effect to the Genoa draft convention fixing the 
minimum age for admission of children to employment at sea. Bills 
designed to the same end have been introduced in France, Poland, 
the Netherlands and India. (We are using the terms "bill" and 
''introduced" in a generic sense to indicate the initial steps in the 
various countries toward the formal and final ratifications of the 

It should be noted that although the first International Labor 
Conference was held in Washington and the International Labor 
Office has an American correspondent (Mr. Ernest Greenwood, 618 
Seventeenth Street, Washington), the United States is not a member 
of the League of Nations and therefore, of course, does not participate 
in the affairs of the International Labor Organization as a member 
nation. Quite apart from the question of membership in the League 
of Nations, if it is a question now, America's participation in inter- 
national labor agreements is subject to serious limitations due to 
our form of government — both constitutional and traditional limi- 
tations. In all our agreements with other nations, we must act as a 
nation; but in labor legislation we commonly, and for the most 
part necessarily, act as separate states. We are not sure of the con- 
stitutionality of the federal child labor law — and if it stands the test, 
it sets up only a few standards for only a few occupations, going about 
as far, however, as circumstances permit. 



The record of the New York Legislature of 1922 was a significant 
one with respect to child-welfare legislation as well as in other ways. 
Two factors entered into the adoption of an unusual amount of 
forward-looking legislation relating to children. First and foremost, 
credit should be given to the continuous personal attention shown 
by Governor Miller to legislation of this character. His unflagging 
interest in constructive measures to improve the condition of the 
children of the state, particularly those found under unfortunate 
conditions, was an inspiration to the legislators and to all having to 
do with these child-welfare bills. In his message to the legislature 
early in January, Governor Miller in clear-cut and definite manner 
outlined a specific program of such legislation, practically all of which 
was passed. 

Another factor entering into the enactment of important chil- 
dren's laws at the recent session was the activity of the New York 
State Commission to Examine Laws Relating to Child Welfare.* 
Acting in close co-operation with the Governor, this Commission was 
responsible for the drafting of some of the more important bills 
enacted. Other measures drafted by officials or by groups connected 
with work for children were adopted by the Commission as a part of 
its program. Of the twelve bills fathered by this Commission of 
which Senator Charles W. Walton is Chairman, all were passed by 
the senate and five by both houses. The remainder were unfortu- 
nately killed by the rules committee of the assembly during the 
closing days of the session. 

* The Children's Court Act 

Perhaps the most important of the new laws, because of its far- 
reaching effect, is the children's court act. This measure, drafted 

*Copies of Preliminary Report of the Commission to the legislature of 1922, 
may be obtained on application to the Executive Secretary, 137 East 22nd St., 
New York City. 


40 The American Child 

by the Child Welfare Commission, provides for the establishment of 
county children's courts to hear cases of child offenders and neglect. 

For years an increasing amount of dissatisfaction has been 
noticeable among those especially concerned with helping delinquent 
and neglected children because of the failure of the present court 
machinery in up-state counties to meet adequately their needs. 
Especially has this been true in the rural sections of the state where 
such children are brought before local justices of the peace. At the 
present time more than thirty-seven hundred of these courts have 
the power to take children from their homes and conomit them as 
pubHc charges. 

While sometimes one finds among these officials men who show 
a sympathetic and constructive interest in the children arraigned 
before them, unfortunately such justices are the exception rather 
than the rule. Official and private investigations have conclusively 
indicated the unfitness of many of them to handle the dehcate situa- 
tions involved in the trial of children charged with delinquency or 
who lack proper guardianship. Most of these justices are untrained 
in the law and lack the qualifications needed in officials upon whom 
rests the responsibility of working out a plan for providing for some 
neglected child or for one who has gone wrong less through any 
fault of his own than through the failure of the community to meet 
properly his natural desires for self expression. 

Three counties of the State — Monroe, Ontario and Chautauqua 
— became sufficiently aroused over the inadequacy of such a system 
to obtain, through special legislation, authority to establish county 
children's courts. Under these laws, while children may be arrested 
and brought before a justice of peace or a police court justice as 
before, he must at once transfer such cases to the county children's 

Both the Governor and the Child Welfare Commission recom- 
mended the enactment of a law giving other counties the benefit of 
similar children's courts. Indeed, such action was felt to be incum- 
bent upon the legislature in view of the overwhelming vote last 
November approving the constitutional amendment authorizing the 
legislature to enact laws to permit the establishment of separate 
children's courts with broad equity powers. The Commission bill, 
which became a law (chapter 547 of the laws of 1922) provides, in 
brief, that separate children's courts shall be established in all coun- 

Notable Gains in New York's Child Welfare Laws 41 

ties outside the city of New York, Buffalo and Syracuse, and also out- 
side the counties now operating under special acts. A judge must 
be chosen at the next general election as children's court judge unless 
the board of supervisors certifies that the county judge will be able 
to take over the added duties. The court is given jurisdiction over 
all neglected and dehnquent children, and over adults who contribute 
to the delinquency of children. It also is to have the same jurisdic- 
tion as is now vested in county courts over bastardy proceedings, in 
the appointment of guardians and in adoption proceedings. Complete 
machinery is provided for setting up a separate children's court, 
including the probation service so necessary to insure its success. 
In general, the court is similar to the courts now in operation in the 
three counties mentioned, but the bill provides additional highly 
desirable powers and privileges not granted those courts. 

As Governor Miller well stated in his message to the legislature 
in January: "The vote on the constitutional amendment was an 
expression of public disapproval of the present system or lack of 
system of dealing with neglected and delinquent children. Juvenile 
delinquency should be dealt with in accordance with the condition 
and needs of the child, not under the penal law or in accordance with 
the rules of criminal procedure." The enactment of the Commission 
bill on the subject marks a long step forward in making possible 
proper treatment of child offenders and neglected children in all por- 
tions of the state. 

Changes in Poor Relief System 

An important change also was made in the law governing the 
administration of mothers' allowances. Since 1915 such allowances 
have been administered generally by county boards of child welfare. 
At the present time such boards grant these allowances in forty-seven 
counties, but in Dutchess and Suffolk counties they are adminis- 
tered through boards of child welfare handled under special statute 
and in Westchester county they are handled under special statute 
through its department of public welfare as a part of its child-caring 
work. Boards of child welfare appointed in eleven counties are 
unable to grant allowances for lack of appropriations, and in one 
county no board has been appointed. 

Information submitted to the Child Welfare Commission indi- 

42 The American Child 

cated that there was a growing demand in favor of unifying the care 
of various classes of children in need of public aid. Instead of admin- 
istering relief to the poor through county superintendents of the poor 
and town overseers of the poor, mothers' allowances through boards 
of child welfare and other forms of public aid through still different 
agencies, it was felt that these lines of similar activity should be 
combined under one agency. Especially was this feeling strong on 
the part of county boards of supervisors which provide funds for 
these agencies. A merger of these interests has already been tried 
out in two counties — Dutchess and Suffolk — where a new type of 
child welfare board assumes the care of all dependent, neglected, 
delinquent and defective children in need of public assistance, out- 
side of the courts. 

Governor Miller, in the message previously mentioned, urged 
attention to this subject in the following language: ''Our laws deal- 
ing with dependent children are in a chaotic condition. There are 
1,238 town, county and city officials having jurisdiction over chil- 
dren. More than 20,000 children come in one way or another under 
the jurisdiction of the poor law officials each year. The powers and 
duties of such officials are not clearly defined." 

The Commission was a unit in favor of combining under one 
agency at least a portion of the duties relating to dependent children. 
Conferences with officials of existing county child-welfare boards, 
poor law officials and other interested agencies, showed much differ- 
ence of opinion with respect to how far it was wise to go at this time 
towards unifying the county care of all dependent children and with 
respect to the agency which should assume these duties. 

After extensive consideration of the entire subject, the Commis- 
sion determined that it would be unwise at present to set up a new 
agency for this work, and therefore recommended that the county 
boards of child welfare be given additional powers which should 
include the duties now exercised by poor law officials in relation to 
the care of dependent children who become pubhc charges, and also 
the authority to receive children who may be committed by the court. 
The Commission regards the enactment of this bill (chapter 546 of 
the laws of 1922) as a first step in the logical unification of all such 
activities in each county. While a permissive statute, in harmony 
with the recommendation of the Governor, it is befieved that the 
law offers an effective opportunity for trying out the new plan. 

Notable Gains in New York's Child Welfare Laws 43 

Deaf and Dumb Children 

Both Governor Miller and the Child Welfare Commission were 
impressed with the anomalous situation found in the existing law 
governing the granting of public aid to deaf and dumb children and 
therefore recommended remedial legislation on this subject. Under 
provisions of the education law, prior to the last session of the Legis- 
lature, deaf and dumb children otherwise eligible could be educated 
in institutions at state expense only after reaching the age of twelve. 
Those under twelve years of age, if they were to be given the advan- 
tages of such educational facilities as their condition required, in one 
of the private institutions established for that purpose, must be granted 
their appointment as county charges by local poor law officials. This 
distinction appeared to the Commission manifestly an unnecessary 
discrimination and a more just arrangement seemed to be that deaf 
and dumb children should be made as the blind children now are — 
the specific beneficiaries of the state for educational purposes with- 
out regard to age. A bill was drafted in harmony with the views of 
the state department of education and the state board of charities, 
and approved by the Commission (chapter 327 of the laws of 1922). 
It provides that hereafter deaf and dumb children five years of age 
and upward shall be eligible for appointment as state pupils at state 
expense in one of the institutions authorized by law for the deaf and 

Issuance of Employment Papers 

It will be recalled that the legislature of 1921 transferred the 
duty of issuing employment certificates to children from local health 
officers to the school authorities, and provided detailed procedure to 
govern the manner in which this work should be done. In the ad- 
ministration of this law by school officials, certain defects were found 
which needed to be corrected. The department of labor also pointed 
out provisions which in its opinion miHtated against efficient inspec- 
tion work by that department. After conference between oflScials 
of the state departments interested, and with representatives of pri- 
vate organizations particularly concerned with this subject, amend- 
ments were adopted to correct these defects which will, it is beheved, 
materially aid in making the law work more smoothly. 

Under the new law (chapter 464 of the laws of 1922), the present 
procedure for issuing employment certificates is changed, so that all 

44 The American Child 

the preliminaries for obtaining an employment certificate must be 
met before the child goes to the prospective employer for a pledge of 
employment and only the bare issuance of the certificate remains to 
be done. 

A new employment certificate for agricultural work only may 
be issued in the name of the child instead of in the name of the em- 
ployer and may be used for successive employers, each of whom is 
required to endorse on the back of the certificate the beginning and 
ending of the term of employment and the character of work per- 
formed by such minor. A similar new provision applies to vacation 
certificates which are limited to a period of not more than five months. 

Other Measures Passed 

Considering bills affecting children introduced from other sources, 
the administration measure to safeguard motherhood and protect the 
health of infants and children is of outstanding importance (chapter 
402 of the laws of 1922). This bill, frankly advocated by Governor 
Miller as an offset to a similar proposal which was drawn to en- 
able New York State to participate in the benefits of the Sheppard- 
Towner federal maternity aid law, was prepared to authorize the 
state department of health to conduct an extensive campaign on 
this subject independent of federal funds and supervision. The law 
appropriates $130,000 which, with the $30,000 previously granted in 
the budget of the state department of health for child hygiene pur- 
poses, will place at the disposal of the health department the same 
amount of money which might have accrued through participation 
in the Sheppard-Towner law. The present bureau of child hygiene 
in the department of health is merged in a new division of maternity, 
infancy, and child hygiene. Among its powers and duties the law 
provides that the division shall exercise the following: 

Making surveys and studies of local conditions influencing 

the health of mothers and children. 

Advising localities as to providing adequate care of mothers 

and infants, and children to whom such care is not otherwise 


Holding health consultations for mothers and children in 

the rural districts in co-operation with local health officers and 

other physicians. 


Notable Gains in New York^s Child Welfare Laws 45 

Instructing local public health nurses in the hygiene of 
maternity and infancy. 

Making available to mothers through instruction by physi- 
cians, nurses and pubhcations, information concerning the hy- 
giene of maternity and infancy. 

Supervision and training of midwives. 
Prevention of blindness in infancy. 

The care and rehabilitation of crippled children not other- 
wise provided for. 

PubHc instruction by means of moving pictures, and lectures 
and other methods regarding preventable conditions affecting 
infant and maternity deaths. 

Several other bills relating to young persons became law, of 
which space will only permit a brief description. In 1921 the domes- 
tic relations law was amended in spite of opposition from many 
agencies to permit under certain conditions the superintendent of a 
hospital in whose care an illegitimate child has been given by its 
mother for purposes of adoption, to give consent to the adoption of 
such a child. This provision was further amended by the last legis- 
lature (chapter 628 of the laws of 1922) to provide additional limita- 
tions under which such work may be done and to require reports to 
the state board of charities. While the new law is a slight improve- 
ment, in the opinion of many persons interested in this work, it is 
felt that it does not get at the root of the evil, the eradication of 
which would mean the complete repeal of the provision granting 
hospital superintendents such authority. 

A bill amending the prison law (chapter 645 of the laws of 1922) 
provides that a child born to an inmate of a prison shall not be re- 
turned to the institution in which the mother is confined unless it be 
a reformatory, and the officer in charge may upon proper proof being 
furnished by the father or other relative of their ability to care for 
and maintain the child, give such child into the care and custody of 
the father or other relative; otherwise such officer shall place the 
child in charge of the proper poor law officer. 

Another amendment to the domestic relations law affects mar- 
riages of persons under eighteen years of age. Heretofore if an action 
to annul a marriage on this ground was instituted, the court had 
no other recourse but to order such marriage annulled. The new 
amendment (chapter 313 of the laws of 1922) provides that the annul- 

46 The American Child 

ment shall be in the discretion of the court, which shall take into 
consideration all the facts and circumstances surrounding such 

A number of other laws were also enacted affecting children in 
relation to penal and civil proceedings in courts. 

Among the Child Welfare Commission bills which failed of enact- 
ment were the following: 

A bill, introduced at the request of the New York Child 
Labor Committee, to restrict to forty-eight hours a week the 
employment of minors sixteen to eighteen years of age. 

A bill, introduced at the request of the New York Child 
Labor Committee, to authorize local school superintendents to 
retain in school until their sixteenth birthday, fifteen-year-old 
children who have not completed an eight-year elementary 
school course. 

Two bills, introduced at the request of the state depart- 
ment of education, to provide courses of study for training ap- 
prentices and establishing the necessary machinery therefor. 

A bill to repeal various provisions in various laws, legalizing 
the binding out of children under indentures. 

Two measures to permit granting allowances to mothers 
where fathers are physically disabled or have been in a state 
prison under a minimum sentence of at least two years. 
Another measure authorizing boards of child welfare to grant 
an allowance to the lawful guardian of children of a mother otherwise 
eligible who are not within care or custody of mother by reason of 
her death, insanity, or temporary illness, was approved by the legis- 
lature but vetoed by the Governor. 

In preparation for the legislative session of 1923, the Child Wel- 
fare Commission is making a careful study of the laws relating to 
children to see what further constructive changes may be desirable 
in order to make them protect better the interests of children, and 
also to rewrite, wherever deemed necessary, certain of the laws or 
parts thereof with a view to simplifying their language, eliminating 
obsolete or duplicate material and generally clarifying the provisions. 

The tragedy of all great cities is the tragedy of the child-life of the slums.- 
— Robert W. Mackenna, in "The Adventures of Life." • 



The campaign to raise the age for compulsory school attendance 
from fourteen to sixteen in Massachusetts was renewed during the 
present session of the Legislature by a number of organizations, 
including the Massachusetts Child Labor Committee. As a result 
of the interest which has been aroused in the question the audi- 
torium of the State House was well filled when House Bill No. 611 was 
heard before the Committee on Education on February twenty-first. 

The proponents presented a mass of material in support of the 
measure. Because of their age and meagre education the openings 
for children who leave school at fourteen are limited for the most 
part to unskilled jobs with little or no future. Moreover, they drift 
from one position to another often with weeks of unemployment 
intervening. A study made by the Massachusetts Child Labor 
Committee of the working history of 324 Boston children shows 
that one-half of the terminated jobs had been held for less than 
three months. 

This drifting existence is not the best kind of life for adolescent 
boys and girls, who are especially in need of the stabilizing influence 
of the school. A study of the Boston court records of fourteen and 
fifteen-year-old children for 1920 revealed the fact that there was 
proportionately six times as much delinquence among children who 
had left school as among children who were still in school. 

Material was also presented to show the effects upon health of 
allowing children to enter industry at the critical age of adolescence. 
According to a governm.ent report the death rate for cotton-mill 
operatives between fifteen and nineteen is 80 per cent to 95 per cent 
greater than for non-operatives. This is especially significant in 
view of the fact that 39 per cent of Massachusetts' 43,000 working 
children are employed in textile mills. Medical experts appointed 
by the Children's Bureau state that because of the physiological and 


48 The American Child 

psychological readjustments which make special demands upon the 
vitality of the child during adolescence, ''it is of paramount import- 
ance that he should be protected . . . from the physical and ner- 
vous strain which entrance into industry inevitably entails." 

The Arkwright Club, the textile manufacturers* organization, 
opposed the measure vigorously, claiming that the industry was in 
a serious condition. Data subsequently given out by the Labor 
Bureau, however, show that the earnings of Fall River mills were 
at the rate of 11 per cent per annum during the first part of the 
current year. The counsel for the Associated Industries admitted 
that industry could adjust itself to the change, but thought that it 
should not be made until the schools were equipped to offer courses 
suited to the needs of these children. This idea was expressed also 
by several school men, although 71 per cent of the superintendents 
who replied to a questionnaire favored the measure, 55 per cent 
unqualifiedly and 16 per cent with reservations. Readjustments 
in the school system must necessarily follow rather than precede 
such legislation. 

Others opposed the bill because of the insufficiency of school 
buildings and the increased expense to local communities, but in- 
formation secured by the Massachusetts Child Labor Committee 
showed that the legislation would not necessitate any new buildings 
in 69 per cent of the cities and towns of the state and that in an 
additional 14 per cent the building cost would be less than $25,000. 
For the annual support of the schools the increase in cost would be 
less than 6 per cent. The former United States Commissioner of 
Education writes in a recent article that "doubling the total of all 
expenditures for pubhc schools (in Massachusetts) in 1920 would have 
added one dollar only in ten to the total of all taxes for that year," 
so a 6 per cent increase in the tax rate would be almost negligible. 

The Committee on Education was divided upon the bill, but 
finally rendered an adverse report on March 29, with six of the 
committee members dissenting. 

Nations, like individuals, live not by bread alone.— Henry C. Wallace. 

"A nation is a host of men united by some God-begotten mood, some .hope 
of liberty or dream of power or beauty or justice or brotherhood." 



Massachusetts holds a prominent place in labor legislation, and 
especially in legislation for the protection of women and children. 
Our child labor law has in the past been a model for other states. 
Both in the enactment and in the enforcement of such measures, 
Massachusetts holds an enviable rank. Much, however, remains to 
be done. There are many conditions which require correction. We 
have children as young as those in the Western beet fields working in 
our own onion and tobacco fields. In many of our cities and towns, 
the street trades regulations are not well enforced. We have a high 
accident rate among our working children, and an exceedingly high 
morbidity and mortality rate among juvenile operatives in our textile 

We are falHng behind some of the more progressive states in our 
age standards for working children. We have already fallen behind 
in our educational standards. Up to a few years ago we permitted 
boys and girls of fourteen to leave school for work if they could meet 
the fourth grade requirements in reading, writing and spelling. That 
is barely literacy. And at the present time our requirements in this 
respect are only ability to meet the tests for completion of the sixth 
grade. A number of states make the eighth grade the minimum 
requirement. We have within the last year or two established con- 
tinuation schools throughout the state for working children fourteen 
to sixteen years of age. In several states, however, including New 
York, continuation school attendance is required of all working chil- 
dren up to the age of eighteen years, and for eight hours a week, in 
comparison to our four hour minimum. 

We deceive ourselves if we think that industry, to any appreciable 
extent, can offer training to the thousands of children that it annually 
receives. The apprenticeship system, where work and education were 
combined, where the work meant real vocational training, belongs to 
a period of the past. We are now in a highly developed era, an era 
of the machine, when the demand is not for the craftsman, but for 
the workman, who supplies, not so much brain and skill as labor 
power. Children are wanted, not as novices to learn a trade, but as 

50 The American Child 

so many nimble fingers to perform one monotonous process over and 
over again, or as so many arms and legs to carry and trot. Of the 
children under sixteen who go to work, nearly nine-tenths enter 
occupations that have little or no educational value. Of the forty 
thousand child workers between fourteen and sixteen years of age in 
this State, over one-third are employed in textile mills at such simple 
processes as sweeping, doffing, or as general helpers. The next largest 
group work for stores, wrapping bundles, delivering goods, or running 
errands. Job shifting is very frequent among the younger workers. 
A study made by the Children's Bureau showed that in Boston ap- 
proximately one-half of the children of this age change their positions 
every six months, or oftener. 

Here in Massachusetts we endeavor to safeguard the child four- 
teen to sixteen years of age who is about to enter industry, by requir- 
ing him to meet certain minimum standards as to age, education and 
physical fitness. He must, before he is permitted to leave school to 
go to work, secure an employment certificate. He must present proof 
that he is at least fourteen years of age, and that he has attended 
school for 130 days since his thirteenth birthday. He must prove 
that he can meet the requirements for completion of the sixth grade. 
He must present an employer's pledge or promise to employ him in 
a specific occupation in accordance with the provisions of the child 
labor law. In addition, he must present a certificate signed by a 
physician, stating that the physician has thoroughly examined him, 
and that in his opinion the child is in sufficiently sound health and 
physically able to perform the work for which he is applying. 

We try to protect the child after he has entered industry by 
restricting the occupations and processes at which he may be em- 
ployed. There is a long list of employments prohibited for minors 
under sixteen years of age. In general, these are employments which 
have distinct health or accident or moral hazards. We try to protect 
the working children by regulating the hours and other conditions of 
their employment. We say that children under sixteen, with certain 
exceptions, may not work more than eight hours in any one day, or 
more than forty-eight hours a week, or more than six days a week, 
or before half past six o'clock in the morning or after six o'clock in 
the evening. 

There are, however, practical difficulties and limitations in afford- 
ing this intended protection. First, with respect to the protection 

Shortcomings in Child Protection 51 

given to the child about to enter industry. The examination, which 
is to determine whether the child is well enough and strong enough 
to go to work and to engage in a particular kind of work, in the great 
majority of instances fails to accomplish this purpose; because if 
any examination is made, it is apt to be so superficial as to be of little 
value. An investigation of the methods employed in examining chil- 
dren for health certificates in the different cities and towns through- 
out the state was made in 1919 by the former Board of Labor and 
Industries. This study showed that to a large extent the work was 
hastily and carelessly performed; that in many instances no exami- 
nation was made, the certificate being signed after a casual inspec- 
tion, and sometimes without even this formality. Under the present 
law, it is very difficult to secure more satisfactory results, because 
any physician may sign the certificate; for there is no one who may 
be held responsible, no one to whom standards may be presented or 
suggestions made. 

The intent of this requirement for health certificates is to prevent 
children who are physically unfit from going into industry at all, and 
to see that those who do go to work do not enter occupations which 
will mean an injury to their health. This implies that the physician 
making the examination should know something about the physical 
demands of the occupation in question, and whether the condition 
and physique of the child is such as to make it safe for him to engage 
in it. It means, or should mean, that the child who is defective physi- 
cally should not be employed; that the child with any suggestion of 
tubercular tendency will not be permitted to work in dusty trades; 
that the child with defective vision will not be certified for work 
involving eye strain; or the child with a weak heart for work requir- 
ing lifting or running up and down stairs. 

As this work is now performed, very few children are excluded 
from industry because of defects. In some of the large industrial 
cities, as shown by the study referred to, out of the thousands of 
children applying for health certificates, practically none were judged 
to be physically unfit for work. On the other hand, there is the evi- 
dence from the draft, the very large proportion of young men and 
boys from the industrial centers who were rejected because of physi- 
cal unfitness. It would be unfair to ascribe the responsibility for this 
situation mainly to industry, as is sometimes done. To a consider- 
able extent, the result is due to the fact that there were no adequate 

52 The American Child 

safeguards provided when these boys, as children, entered industry. 
Some probably had defects which should have excluded them from 
industry altogether; some started to work at too early an age ; some 
were permitted to enter occupations for which they were physically 
unfitted; and still others, with defects of a correctable nature, were 
allowed to go to work without having those defects corrected so that 
their effect, combined with the strain of industry, weakened and 
broke them down. 

It is difficult to provide the needed protection to children before 
they enter industry. It is even more difficult to protect them after 
they have entered industry. Because of the practical impossibility 
of frequent inspections with a limited staff of inspectors, it is possible 
for unscrupulous employers in remote sections of the State to permit 
children to work on dangerous machines or at forbidden occupations. 
It is an easy thing for a child to shift from a permitted to a prohibited 
process in the same establishment, particularly if the processses are 
at all similar. It is difficult to confine children to the supposedly 
safe areas in industry. Young children are naturally irresponsible 
and careless. With all the safeguards which we try to place around 
young children in industry, there were last year 818 children, four- 
teen to sixteen years of age, who suffered some form of industrial 
injury involving loss of time from employment. In five instances 
the injury resulted fatally, and in thirteen instances it meant some 
form of handicap for life. 

Some of the most serious accidents that occur to children are 
due, not to the fault of the employef", but directly to the lack of re- 
sponsibiUty on the part of the child, and indirectly to the lack of 
responsibility on the part of society that permits children to be in 
industry at so immature an age. In many instances, young boys 
get hurt by trying to operate a machine which is near their work; 
although they are not supposed to touch it. A little boy last year 
was crushed to death by a freight elevator; he was not employed on 
the elevator, he was not supposed to operate it or work on it, but he 
worked near where it was; he tried to operate it and he lost his life. 
A little girl employed in a factory, legally employed at a safe per- 
mitted process, climbed on a bench to reach for something; her hair 
was caught on the shafting overhead, and she was scalped. In such 
instances, who is to blame, the child, the employer, or society that 
can afford no better protection for its children? 


"Our Boys" is the title of a report prepared by Howard B. 
Burdge for the New York State MiUtary Training Commission and 
having the sub-title; ''A study of the 245,000 sixteen, seventeen and 
eighteen-year-old employed boys of the State of New York." The 
report embodies a variety of data obtained in connection with putting 
into force the Military Training Law. 

The estimated population of boys of these ages (December 3, 
1918) is 364,000. The majority are out of school. ThQ following 
general statistics are taken from the chapter entitled ''Findings and 
Conclusions" : 

1. Six-sevenths of all sixteen, seventeen and eighteen-year-old boys in 
New York State are out of school. 

2. Three-fourths of the sixteen-year-old boys are out of school. 

3. Seven-eighths of the seventeen-year-old boys are out of school. 

4. Fifteen-sixteenths of the eighteen-year-old boys are out of school. 

5. Of every seven boys still in school four are sixteen years old, two are 
seventeen and one is eighteen 

6. About 54 per cent of these boys live in Greater New York. 

7. 74,8 per cent Uve in the cities of the State. 

8. 77.7 per cent live in places over 5,000 population having a superinten- 
dent of schools. 

9. Only 16.3 per cent live in strictly rural communities. 

The report deals mainly with the employed group. We quote 
the following summary statements concerning the working boys six- 
teen, seventeen and eighteen years of age : 


1. In Greater New York sixty per cent have both parents foreign born, 
ten per cent one parent foreign born and thirty per cent both parents 
American born. 

2. In Greater New York twenty per cent of the boys are foreign born. 

3. About ten per cent of the boys outside of Greater New York are foieign 

4. In general the foreign population is greater in the larger cities, although 
there is no direct correlation between the population of individual cities 
and the per cent of foreign population. 

5. The type of foreign population varies greatly in the smaller cities. 

6. In Greater New York the foreign population is very cosmopolitan. 

7. Only three per cent of the employed farm boys are foreign born. 

8. With the exception of the English, Scotch and Canadians over ninety 
per cent of the foreign parents are of the same nationality. The Italians 
record of over ninety-three per cent is the highest. 


54 The American Child 


1. Only four boys out of five claim the father as guardian. 

2. Only 73.7 per cent of American boys with American parents as com- 
pared with 84.7 per cent of foreign boys with foreign parents claim the 
father as a guardian. Where one parent is foreign born the record is 
80.9 per cent. 

3. Twice as many fathers as mothers were reported dead. 

4. In some communities only seventy per cent of the boys claim the father 
as a guardian. 

5. Five per cent of the boys have neither a father nor a mother as a guar- 


1. About half of these boys come from famiHes of four, five and six children. 

2. Foreign families are larger than American families. 

3. More Americans than foreigners have extremely large and extremely 
small famiUes. 


1. Over sixty-five per cent remained in school one or more years beyond 
the compulsory age limit. 

2. Over thirty per cent left on or before reaching the legal age for leaving 

3. About six per cent left illegally. 

4. In Greater New York sixty-eight per cent of American born boys with 
American parents and sixty-four per cent of foreign born boys with 
foreign parents remain one or more years beyond the legal age for 
leaving school. 

5. In the other cities seventy-two per cent of American boys with Amer- 
ican parents and sixty-one per cent of foreign boys with foreign parents 
remain one or more years beyond the legal age for leaving school. 

6. The per cent of American boys who are still in school is greater than 
the per cent of foreign boys in every one of a random selection of 
eighteen large cities. 


Regardless of the size of the community, nationahty, parentage, guar- 
dianship, and rank in family: 

1. About thirty per cent left school before fifteen. 

2. About thirty-eight per cent left school between fifteen and sixteen. 

3. About twenty-six per cent left school between sixteen and seventeen. 

4. The twenty-five per centile boy left school at about 14.8 years of age. 

5. The median boy left school at about 15.5 years of age. 

6. The seventy-five per centile boy left school at about 16.2 years of age. 


1. The twenty-five per centile boy completed about 7.4 grades. 

2. The median boy completed about 8.3 grades. 

3. The seventy-five per centile boy completed about 8.8 grades. 

4. The grades completed by the median boy vary from 8.3 in Greater 
New York to 7.7 in the farm boy group. 

5. Sixty-two per cent of the Greater New York boys completed the eighth 
grade as compared with forty-two per cent of the employed farm 

6. Greater New York sends fewer of these boys through the first year of 
the high school than any of the other city and village groups. 

New York Youths and Their Jobs 55 


7. The average rate of progress per grade per year varies from 92,2 per 
cent of a grade completed each year in Greater New York to only 82.8 
per cent in the farm boy group. 

8. Oldest boys make sHghtly better progress in school than their younger 

9. American born boys with two foreign parents show a higher rate of 
progress than foreign born boys with foreign parents. 

10. American boys with foreign parents in many nationality groups have a 
higher rate of progress in school than American born boys with Amer- 
ican parents. 

11. The type of foreign population rather than the per cent of foreign pop- 
ulation influences the average rate of progress per grade per year in 
various communities. 

12. In the larger nationahty groups where both the boys and parents are 
foreign born the Scotch, Scandinavians and Russian Jews have an 
average rate of progress of over ninety-one per cent and the Italians of 
only eighty per cent. Where the boys are born in America and both 
parents are foreign born the Scotch, Scandinavians, Russian Jews 
Germans and Austro-Hungarians, all have an average rate of progress 
of about ninety-five per cent while the ItaUans have an average of 
88.7 per cent. 

13. American born boys with foreign parents have a higher average rate 
of progress per grade per year than foreign born boys with foreign par- 
ents and in many cases they excel the records of American boys with 
American parents. 


1. The vast majority of these boys left school because "they wanted to go 
to work" and not because they were obliged to. 

2. Less than fifteen per cent reported that they were obhged to go to 

3. In New York City thirty per cent gave grade graduation as a reason 
for leaving. 


1. About ninety per cent of the boys received their education in the public 


1. Relatively few boys received any training in State-aided vocational 


1. Mathematics is the best Hked study. 

2. Enghsh is the least liked study. . 

3. The maximum hkes and disUkes for different subjects vary widely m 
the different grades. 

4. Likes and dislikes are not influenced by foreign birth. 


1. The majority of boys earn Httle money while in school. 


1. Less than ten per cent attend night school. 

2. Over sixty per cent state that they do not wish to attend. 

3. Less than three per cent of foreign born boys attend night school. 

56 The American Child 


1. The twenty-five per centile boys received between twelve and fifteen 
dollars per week. 

2. The median boy received between fifteen and eighteen dollars per week. 

3. The seventy-five per centile boy received between nineteen and twenty- 
two doUars per week. 


1. Less than two per cent of the boys are assisted by schools, churches 
and employment agencies in getting employment. 

2. About one-fourth get their jobs through friends and acquaintances. 

3. About three-fourths get them by applying. 


1. Over forty per cent spent less than four and one-half months on their 
last job. 

2. About sixty per cent spent less than seven and one-half months on 
their last job. 


1. About one-fifth liked their jobs because it was easy. 

2. About one-fourth liked their job because it was interesting. 

3. About ten per cent did not like them and would soon change employment. 


1. No systematic effort is made to fit the boy to his job. 


1. In Greater New York forty per cent did not save any money and only 
ten per cent saved in banks. 

2. Outside of Greater New York about twenty-five per cent saved no 
money and twenty per cent saved in banks. 

3. About fifty per cent of all boys bought Liberty Bonds and War Savings 


1. The per cent contributing nothing toward family support varies from 
10.5 m Greater New York to 19.6 in villages over 5,000 population. 

2. In Greater New York 77.4 per cent contributed ten or more dollars 
per week as compared with only 59.6 per cent in the villages over 5,000. 

3. The median contribution in each city and village group falls between 
ten and fifteen dollars per week. 

4. Foreign born boys contribute more than American born boys. 


There is a distinct correlation between 

1. Fathers' and boys' occupations. 

2. Fathers' and boys' desired occupations. 

3. Boys' present and desired occupations. 

4. Last grade completed and type of occupation. 

5. There is no more correlation in the eighteen year old group than in the 
sixteen year old group in the four items above. 

6. Most boys leaving school on or before completing the eighth grade 
enter and desire to enter the industrial trades and occupations. 

7. Most boys who complete one or more years in the high school enter 
and desire to enter professional, clerical and retail business occupations. 

8. There is httle correlation between boys' present and desired occtipa,- 
tions and best and least liked studies. 



The trouble with most of our courses and textbooks in child psy- 
chology is their suffusion with practical aims — childhood is tempor- 
ary, childhood is formative, childhood is of little or no importance on 
its own account. Our knowledge of child nature, seemingly, is worth 
while only as it serves some purpose ulterior to childhood itself. We 
study child nature with reference to numerous social and educational 
problems, almost forgetting the child. We have a child psychology 
applied to schooling, a child psychology applied to morals and de- 
linquency, a child psychology applied to play and recreation, and 
are beginning to have one applied to work and child labor, but we 
fail of a child psychology applied to childhood. 

Our child psychologies are over-professionalized — designed not 
so much to illumine the realm of childhood as to throw light on our 
own tasks; not so much to enable us to help children to be children 
in the present, as to help us get them by the period of childhood 
safely and with profit, as we say, to themselves and to society. The 
purpose and spirit of these child psychologies is utilitarian and prac- 
tical, rather than appreciative and reverential. 

Take, for instance, what we call "educational psychology." To 
a large extent it is merely pedagogy and school management. It 
simpUfies and eases the tasks of teachers and administrators, and 
promotes efficiency of instruction and discipline. It employs the 
new knowledge of child nature to lubricate the old machinery of 
education. It shows how to run the educational mill, how to induce 
pupils to learn their lessons, how to make scholastic ends meet at 
examination and promotion time. It places the schools first and the 
child afterward. 

The reform of educational psychology and even of the schools 
has begun. Writers Hke John Dewey and innovators like Marietta 
Johnson are exerting a constantly widening influence on schoolmen 
and laymen. Theirs is an educational psychology that would fit the 


58 The American Child 

schools to child nature. It is one that conduces to a truly sympa- 
thetic understanding of children as they are — one that recognizes the 
fact that the condition of being really and truly a child is the great 
educational desideratum. Being a child is much more significant, 
educationally, than becoming an adult. The former involves and 
includes the latter. 

What is true of our child psychologies, as such, is likewise true 
of our general attitude, as child-welfare workers, toward childhood. 
We are inclined to look upon childhood as a problem to be solved 
rather than an object of service. Children require so much looking 
after, lest they come to harm or make trouble, and in order that they 
may be properly trained and educated! It's a nuisance, really. 
Child welfare is thought of as a means to an end, rather than an end 
in itself. It constitutes a job — and parenthetically, furnishes jobs. 
No doubt our child-welfare work is socially necessary. No doubt the 
spirit of social service on which we pride ourselves is admirable. 
But perhaps our welfare work is quite as necessary to the child as it 
is to society, and perhaps we could do with a little more of the spirit 
of child service. Perhaps, unawares, we are neglecting the child, 
neglecting him in our philosophy of child-welfare work, insofar as 
we have such a philosophy. 

Child-welfare work should be carried on in accordance with the 
behavioristic philosophy. The essential element in this philosophy 
is the idea that, in order to know the needs of man, we must know 
how he is dynamically constituted — and so also of the child. It 
regards human needs from the standpoint of human nature and recog- 
nizes that at any given moment the individual possesses humanly 
natural needs corresponding to inner impulsions, hungers and desires 
which are neither good nor bad in themselves and which have a 
rightful and necessary expression in one form or another, whether 
the form be right or otherwise. 

While the science of behavioristic psychology studies these 
humanly natural needs, their origin, and their relation to growth, 
development, and the integration of personality, behavioristic phil- 
osophy is concerned only with the fact that these needs exist and the 
fact, further, that the individual is always, so to speak, in a state of 
behavior. It is concerned not with the future of the individual but 
rather with his needs in the present as a behaving organism. It 
treats these needs with respect, and assumes that complete living 

Childhood First — and Last! 59 

today is the best guarantee of complete living tomorrow. The future 
is more or less incidental. The welfare of the adult is a by-product 
of the welfare of the child. 

The spirit of behavioristic philosophy is opposed to repression, 
prohibition and negation; it would keep human nature always active 
and busy and provide abundant opportunity for its expression in 
forms wholesome and beneficial. It would substitute doing for not 
doing, doing this for not doing that, and, never forgetting that the 
normal life is a life of behavior, would give thought not to the "bad- 
ness'' of human nature but to the goodness of the environmental 
medium in which human nature expresses itself, in which behavior 
takes place, and in which character and conduct, happiness and wel- 
fare, are determined. 

The present is the most important period or moment in any 
human life. It is really the only important time. It sums up all the 
past of the race and of the individual; it is the starting point of all 
the future. Needs change in consequence of the constant interaction 
between heredity and environment; but life is continuous, and there 
must be at no time any neglect of present needs. Normality and full- 
ness of development depend on a constant condition of complete and 
wholesome living in the present. 

The glory of the child is his childhood and the proper object 
of child welfare work is the welfare of the child. This may seem 
a truism, but if it be, it is one whose meaning we are far from accept- 
ing in practice. Always to maintain the child's welfare does, indeed, 
require more knowledge than we yet possess but it also requires a 
different conception of purpose on our own part. Our so-called 
problems of child welfare — child labor and juvenile delinquency, 
etc., — are really consequences of our failure to deal adequately with 
the one problem of child welfare. This failure determines not only 
our forms and divisions of child welfare work, but also to a large 
extent our spirit and attitude. Child welfare work is in the same 
position, practically and theoretically, as social work generally, 
which a recent writer describes as Society's "salvage and repair 
service." There is need of salvage and repair service, surely, but 
the conception of neither social work nor child welfare work should 
be so limited. Child welfare work, in spirit and application, should 
be liberated from its own failures, or — shall we say? — from Society's 

A Good Reason 

Mother — 'There were two apples in the cupboard, Tommy, 
and now there is only one. How's that?'' 

Tommy (who sees no way of escape) — "Well, ma, it was so dark 
in there I didn't see the other." 

— School and Home. 

Humor in school publicity: e.g., a boy whose reason for staying 
out of school was ''sickness": 

"Who's sick? Your father?" 


"Your mother!" 


"Who, then!" 

"The Truant Officer." 

— Public Service. 

Walter, the Little News Seller 

If Walter, age 11, had been given any kind of physical examina- 
tion before he began work as a paper carrier he would not have been 
allowed even to "try it out." He is frail, undernourished, under size, 
and extremely nervous. His route required him to rise between 4:30 
and 5:00 a.m., go to the corner half a mile distant, get the pack of 
about 100 papers left by the street car, and deliver them to his 
patrons before six o'clock. 

On Saturday he had to spend a couple of hours collecting, and 
if he made all his collections and no one moved away without paying, 
he would clear $3.00 for a week's work. If a patron failed to receive 


Spice Shelf 61 

his paper before 7 a.m., he was instructed to telephone the office of 
the circulating manager; and a special messenger was dispatched 
with the precious paper, and twenty-five cents per copy was deducted 
from Walter's account. 

Several things went badly the first week of the child's experience 
as a "wage earner," or rather as a merchant, so that on Saturday he 
had less than $1.00 left for his week's work. During the two weeks 
following the circulating manager's office was besieged with irate 
patrons who had not received their papers. Three, five, six, seven 
in number, day after day. Poor Httle Walter's account was closed 
and he had to give up, owing the paper many precious dollars. 

An older boy then took the route and in a few days found the 
offending billy-goat that had made regular rounds gathering papers 
for his own use. Walter's mother says, "Never again for Walter." 

America suffers today from ignorance more than any other single tyranny. 
Our children may have knowledge of the facts necessary for individual living. 
Our youth may acquire professional training of high degree. Their minds, 
however, have not been focused upon those truths which are so essential to a 
democratic community. Positive lack of knowledge of American conditions is 
chiefly responsible for the continuation of some evils. Failure to be inteUigent 
upon public issues accounts for much of our weakness. The people need 
knowledge. — Marion Le Roy Burton, President, University of Michigan. 

One of the first points to be made clear to the minds of the public is that 
physical disease offers fewer obstacles to a national efficiency than do defects 
or disorders of mentality. It is not intended to slight the importance of physi- 
cal examinations, especially when made in youth for the purpose of controlling 
disease tendencies at their beginning, nor to minimize the social significance of 
tuberculosis and especially of syphilis, which is so prone to disable the nervous 
system. The health of the country has gained enormously by granting arbi- 
trary powers in these matters to boards of health, and the public is firmly con- 
vinced of the value of the policy. But the physical diseases are neither so 
widespread nor so disastrous to character as mental impairments, and yet 
the public persists in seeing in them the chief medical obstacles to prosperity. 
Psychological obstacles are not so manifest, and it will be some time before 
psychologists or alienists are given the confidence and authority accorded to 
workers in general hygiene. Yet a recognition that mental health is the best 
assurance of national security and power must come to the country which hopes 
to be prosperous and happy. — Dr. Pearce Bailey, in Mental Hygiene, April, 1917. 

Juvenile Delinquency. Henry H. Goddard. New York: Dodd, Mead 
& Co. 

There is no longer any need for hit or miss guesswork procedure in hand- 
ling problems of juvenile delinquency, is the opinion of the Director of the 
Ohio Bureau of Juvenile Research in his "Juvenile Delinquency." On the 
contrary, he believes that scientific handling of such cases is entirely possible. 
This book is written on the premise that juvenile delinquency is largely erad- 
icable, and the experiences of the Ohio Bureau are used throughout to prove 
this point. 

H. B. S. 

Quicksands of Youth. Franklin Chase Hoyt. New York: Charles Scrib- 
ner's Sons. 

"Quicksands of Youth" presents, in narrative form, a number of incidents 
from the records of the New York City Children's Court. These very readable 
sketches are bound together with appropriate comment. Chapter headings are 
as follows: "The Spirit of the Children's Court," "A Recruit for Law and 
Order," "Citizens in the Making," "Twenty Months After," "The Gang in 
Embryo," "In Quest of Change and Adventure," "Sometimes We Smile," "Sore 
Let and Hindered," and "When the Call Comes to Them." 

The volume has no scientific purpose but is designed simply to stimulate 
popular interest in the problems of delinquency and neglect. All of the stories 
told in it are based upon actual occurrences. 

H. L. S. 

Motion Pictures in a Typical City. Rev. J. J. Phelan, M.A., Ph.D. Toledo, 
Ohio: Little Book Press. 

"Motion Pictures in a Typical City* is a social survey of motion pictures 
as a form of commercialized amusement in Toledo. The writer has attempted 
to gather together and present all available social data on the subject. He 
leaves the reader to make his own interpretations. Although the survey is 
local, it may serve as a guide to other cities in approaching their own problems 
of a similar nature. 

H. L. S. 

Book Reviews 63 

Child Welfare- from the Social Point of View. Nora Milnes, B.Sc. New 
York: E. P. Button & Co. 

This book by the Director of the Edinburgh School of Social Study is a 
deeply analytical study of child welfare. It begins with an exhaustive intro- 
ductory chapter showing that child welfare should be regarded as one of the 
studies of appHed economics, and follows up this premise through chapters in 
which the subject is carefully scrutinized from every point of view. 

It is an earnest, thoughtful, and conscientious work which may well be 
recommended to everyone who has a serious interest in the study of child wel- 

H. B. S. 

Workers' Education. Arthur Gleason. New York: Bureau of Industrial 

Workers' Education is the name given to the movement to provide educa- 
tional opportunities for workers which shall be financed and controlled entirely 
by workers' organizations. It has a specific aim: ''The liberation of the work- 
ing class, individually and collectively." In quahty it is "scientific and cul- 
tural, propagandist and civic, industrial and social." 

A significant pamphlet has just been published by the Bureau of Industrial 
Research, describing the aims and methods of Workers' Education and the 
various developments of this idea in America; a few foreign examples, also, 
are included. 

G. H. F. 

Junior Wage Earners. Anna Y. Reed, Ph.D., assisted by Wilson Woelpper. 
New York: The Macmillan Company. 

This book will be welcomed by many people who are interested in the 
practically new field of junior vocational guidance. It is a carefully worked 
out statement of the aim, policy and methods of the Junior Division of the 
United States Emplo>Tnent SerA-ice, which was created to meet the serious 
problem of the replacement in school or in industry of the young war workers. 
Miss Reed was the head of this Division and is, therefore, most competent to 
tell of their efforts to deal with the situation and their experiences in so doing. 

H. B. S. 

Nutrition and Growth in Children. WiUiam R. P. Emerson, M.D. New 
York: D. Appleton and Company. 

Dr. Emerson presents a comprehensive and detailed nutrition program 
that has attracted wide attention throughout the country. After thirteen 
years devoted to the study and treatment of malnourished children in nutrition 

64 The American Child 

classes he has found that the real causes of mahiutrition can be determined. 
When these causes have been removed the child responds to the strong force 
in nature that makes for recovery, and returns to health in a remarkably short 
time. He has arrived at five chief causal factors which are in order of their 
importance: physical defects, especially obstructions in breathing; lack of 
home control; overfatigue; improper diet and faulty food habits; and faulty 
health habits. This book presents an excellent working program covering 
methods of deaUng with each of these five principal causes, — methods of diag- 
nosis and identification, of removal of physical defects, of measured feeding, of 
control of physical, mental and social activities to prevent overfatigue: also 
prescribing the work of nutrition classes and clinics for treatment of malnu- 
trition cases. 

This book should especially recommend itself to parents. 

J. H. 

The Child and His School. Gertrude Hartman. E. P. Button & Co. 

This book consists, for the most part, of selections from the writings of 
well-known educational psychologists. Quotations from John Dewey pre- 
dominate. The selections are so joined as to constitute a logical discussion of 
the bases of education and the educative process. A considerable portion of 
the volume is devoted to method in connection with the fundamental subjects 
of the present curriculum. The sub-title of Miss Hartman's book is, "An In- 
terpretation of Elementary Education as a Social Process." The volume con- 
tains the gist of much of the best educational literature produced by the first- 
rate thinkers in this field. 

The Plat Movement in the United States. Clarence E. Rainwater. Chi- 
cago: University of Chicago Press. 

A scholarly history, this book fills an important place. Emphasizes the 
community idea in play and recreation. 

Social Work. Edward T. Devine. New York: The Macmillan Company. 

Historical, descriptive, philosophical, readable. The book deserves and 
will receive a wide reading. 

The Wonder World We Live In. Adam Gowans Whyte. New York: 
Alfred A. Knopf. 

- It is a book of science simply but not patronizingly written for children— 
and grown-ups have been known to read it with pleasure and profit. Prof-jsely 

Volume Four ATT/^TTCTT 10'>'> Issued Quarterly 

Number Two /V U Vr U O 1 , 1 7^X Price $2 per Year 

^;bn^r- ^^'^'^''^ 






■Natuinal (Eljtlli SCabnr Qlnmmittef 

tncorporatefc to promote tbe interests of cbilfcren 
105 East 22d Street, New York City 

Entered as second-class matter, June 10. 1919, at the Post-ofHce at New York, N. Y., 
under the Act of August 24, 1912. 

Accepted for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in 
Section 1103, Act of October 3, 1917, authorized on July 10, 1918. 


Copyright 1922 by the 
National Child Labor Committee 




Amend the Constitution- Owen R. Lovejoy 68 

News Feom the Child Welfare Field: 

Seventeenth National Conference on Child Labor 70 

Text of Proposed Constitutional Amendment 72 

Legislation in Virginia. 74 

Legislation in Other States 76 

Industrial Home Work of Children __ 76 

Child Labor Prohibitions for Industrial Home Work 78 

Commonwealth Fund Health Program 78 

Milbank Memorial Fund Demonstration 79 

A Review of "Rural Child Welfare" 80 

Children of Wage-Earning Mothers 82 

Factory Inspection in Jugo-Slavia..._ _ 83 

Employment- Certificate Conference 84 

Child Labor in Oyster and Shrimp-Canning Communities.- 85 

Study of Child Welfare Laws in Alabama 87 

Brevities 88 

Editorial Comment on Child Labor Decision - 91 

Seventeenth National Conference on Child Labor: 

Connecticut Study of Street Trades H. M. Diamond 97 

Enforcement of the Street Trades Law in Boston, 

Madeleine H. Appel 104 

Street Trades in Alabama Loraine B. Bush 107 

Street Trades in Chicago F. Zeta Youmans 114 

Street Trades in Pennsylvania Bruce Watson 120 

A Model Street Trades Law...... Wiley H. Sv/ift 126 

Juvenile Street Work in Iowa Sara A. Brown 130 

Book Reviews 150 



The children of America are America's children, to protect 
at home as well as abroad. This nation cannot adequately pro- 
tect and develop itself without seeing to it that its boys and girls 
are given a fair chance for safety from exploitation and for devel- 
opment through education. 

Those conditions making for child welfare and for national 
welfare do not obtain while the states — ^many of them — are recal- 
citrant in matters of child labor legislation, and the federal gov- 
ernment is impotent to set up and maintain suitable minimum 
standards under the Constitution as it stands. 

Twice, the people of this country, through their representa- 
tives in Congress, have sought to express their wish and will in 
the form of a federal child labor law, and twice their humane and 
patriotic purpose has fallen to naught by reason of constitutional 
limitations as set forth in decisions of the United States Supreme 

It has been published to the world that the United States of 
America cannot protect its children in industry. There have been 
two attempts and two failures, leaving little likelihood of effective 
action by reliance on existing constitutional powers. Moreover, 
any action would necessarily be indirect, for never, under the 
present Constitution, has there been any possibility of federal 
legislation dealing with child labor as child labor. 

A nation that cannot protect its own children from industrial 
exploitation should be ashamed of itself. It should at least have 
the power to do so, even though it use the power only to make 
up the deficiencies of state action and to set up a minimum stand- 
ard of national decency which no state shall be allowed to abrogate. 


Amend the Constitution 69 

This power will give us respect in the eyes of our fellow nations, 
and to our citizens at home it will give confidence that children 
actually can and will be protected in whatever part of the country 
they may live. It is a form of democratic insurance. There is 
no democracy in permitting backward localities to use up child- 
hood. We might as well speak of a democracy of robbery, of 

The laws of twenty-eight states, in one respect or another, 
are below the very reasonable standards fixed by the two federal 
acts. Now that the second federal act has been declared invaUd, 
Georgia children 12 years of age may be worked ten hours a day, 
and children 143^^ all night long. In North Carolina children of 
12 may be worked 11 hours a day during school vacations, and 
children of 14 the same long work day the entire year. Important 
mining states fall below the sixteen-year age limit for employment 
in mines. Other shortcomings of existing state laws could be 
mentioned. Reports coming in indicate that a host of children 
are now going to work who would have been kept out of^child 
labor if the federal act had remained in force. 

Federal protection must be restored to these boys and girls. 
We need to bear in mind, not only that some states have so far 
failed to measure up to the federal standards, but that there is 
no telling when, if left to themselves, some states that have as 
high or higher standards, will slip back. It may turn out that a 
constitutional amendment will be all the federal protection neces- 
sary ; or in other words, that the states, knowing that Congress can 
do the job, will themselves give full protection to America's child- 
ren. If they do, legislation by Congress will not be needed; but 
in any case, Congress should have the power to act. 

(^^KJbs ^-SoJvv^l>^^N 

v?iiyy*».) ,-■../-., *ii)r %.^^i^. 



Seventeenth National Conference on Child Labor 

Cheerful determination to go on and finish the task of child 
labor reform marked the discussion and plan-making at the Seven- 
teenth National Conference on Child Labor, held at Providence, 
Tuesday afternoon, July 27th. The decision in which the United 
States Supreme Court had declared the federal child labor law un- 
constitutional was treated with due seriousness, but with no sign 
of pessimism. Resentment against the Supreme Court was declared 
by several speakers to be unjustified and improper, and nobody dis- 
sented from that view. 

The decision, as Professor Samuel McCune Lindsay of Colum- 
bia, the presiding officer, pointed out, was made by warm friends 
of child labor reform. There is no occasion for seeking to put a 
curb on the Supreme Court as a way out of the constitutional diffi- 
culties. Rather, it is up to the people, if they want federal action 
against child labor, to clear away these difficulties by amending the 

Owen R. Love joy, general secretary of the National Child 
Labor Committee, made public the tentative draft of an amendment 
prepared by the National Committee. This draft amendment, 
now somewhat modified in phraseology, exhibits several points of 
special interest. It applies only to child labor. It attempts to 
safeguard the states from any interference with, or substitution for, 
the administration machinery which they have already built up in 
the welfare field. That machinery sliould be preserved and devel- 
oped, not weakened. In the third place, the draft amendment 
leaves the states free to go, in child labor matters, as much farther 
than the federal government as they may choose The standards 
which the federal government may incorporate into law are to rep- 
resent a minimum of national decency — an irreducible barrier against 
exploitation and neglect of children. 

It was strikingly set forth by Mr. Lovejoy and others that the 
federal law of the past three years, like the one before it, did not 
affect a great proportion of the child laborers in America. When it 


News From the Child Welfare Field 71 

went into operation, its age, hour and night work standards reached 
perhaps 300,000 boys and girls. It did not reach children in agri- 
culture, street trades, the movies, tenement homework, or stores. 
Public recognition of the fact that a rural child labor problem does 
exist will be slow in coming, but conditions that investigation is 
disclosing in the great onion fields and beet-sugar areas will open 
the closed mind. The federal law did not require an educational 
or physical qualification for going to work. Federal legislation may 
or may not go farther next time than it did in 1916 or 1919, but in 
any case, the greater part of the task of child protection in respect 
to labor is up to the states. The National Child Labor Committee, 
though it has entered into an active campaign for a federal amend- 
ment, will not diminish in any way its present efforts to improve 
state laws and administration. 

The problem of federal action dominated the Child I^abor 
Conference, but the program, as originally planned before the 
decision of the Supreme Court was handed down, had to do prin- 
cipally with children in street trades. It is noteworthy that in 
reports given by investigators and students from eight states, a 
similar, almost identical, set of facts was presented in each case. 
Street trading seems to carry with it the same hazards and conse- 
quences in all the larger cities of the country — unhealthful condi- 
tions, retardation in school, a definite push toward deUnquency, 
smaU earnings, and these wasted. Apparently the regulation of 
street trading is still an unsolved problem. Law enforcement is 
especially poor in connection with street occupations, largely be- 
cause public opinion is especially lenient with child labor in city 

Participants in the program, besides Professor Lindsay and 
Mr. Lovejoy, were Bruce M. Watson, managing director, Public 
Education and Child Labor Association of Pennsylvania; Mrs. 
Madeleine H. Appel, secretary, Massachusetts Child Labor Com- 
mittee; Herbert M. Diamond, assistant director, Wall Street Divi- 
sion, New York University; Mrs. Loraine B. Bush, State Child 
Welfare Department, Alabama; Miss F. Zeta Youmans, officer of 
Juvenile Occupations Department, Juvenile Protective Association, 
Chicago; Ebner Scott, director of the Civic Federation of Dallas, 
Texas; Wiley H, Swift, special agent on law and administration, 
National Child Labor Committee. Most of the addressee and 

72 The American Child 

papers appear in this number of the American Child; it is hoped 
to make good the omissions in the next number. 

At the meetings of The National Conference of Social Work, 
much attention was given to the subject of child labor. Hardly a 
day passed without some discussion of the problems raised by the 
decision of the Supreme Court. Not only the problems of federal 
action, but other child labor problems were brought forward. Her- 
bert Hoover, friend of children, opened his address with forceful 
words on this subject. 

"Clearly," he said, ''if economic waste is reprehensible, waste 
of child life, whether viewed economically or in terms of common 
and universal betterment, is a blight that, in its measure, is more 
deplorable than war itseK." 

Miss Grace Abbott, chief of the U. S. Children's Bureau, said: 
"State standards have been raised in many states since the first 
federal child labor law was enacted, but the reasons for a federal 
minimum are substantially the same today as they were in 1916. 
In some states children may work at what is regarded in most of 
the states of the United States and of Europe a dangerously young 
age; in some, night work is not prohibited for young persons; in 
some, they may still work excessive hours. With the end of the 
war there have developed two conflicting viewpoints with reference 
to activities of the Federal Government. There is a new apprecia- 
tion of the fact that there is a level in the care of children below 
which no state of the United States can with safety to the nation 
be allowed to go, and, on the other hand, the doctrine of state's 
right has found some new adherents in irritation at many of the forms 
in which federal regulation appeared during the war. In general, 
there is agreement that either the idea of a federal minimum must 
be abandoned, or the Constitution must be amended so as to give 
Congress the power to legislate in this field." 

Text of Proposed Constitutional Amendment 

Senator Medill McCormick of Illinois, introduced in the United 
States Senate on July 26th, the following joint resolution: 

^'Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled {two-thirds of each House 

News From the Child Welfare Field 73 

concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an 
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when 
ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states, 
shall be vaHd to all intents and purposes as a part of the Consti- 
tution : 

"Article — . The Congress shall have power to hmit or pro- 
hibit the labor of persons under eighteen years of age, and power is 
also reserved to the several states to limit or prohibit such labor 
in any way which does not lessen any limitation of such labor or 
the extent of any prohibition thereof by Congress. The power vested 
in the Congress by this article shall be additional to and not a limi- 
tation on the powers elsewhere vested in the Congress by the Con- 
stitution with respect to such labor/' 

This is Senate Joint Resolution No. 232. It has been referred 
to the Committee on the Judiciary, the membership of which is as 
follows: Senator Knute Nelson of Minnesota, Chairman; Senators 
William P. Dillingham, of Vermont; Frank B. Brandegee, of Con- 
necticut; William E. Borah, of Idaho; Albert B. Cummins, of 
Iowa; LeBaron B. Colt, of Rhode Island; Thomas Sterling, of 
South Dakota; George W. Norris, of Nebraska; Richard P. Ernst, 
of Kentucky; Samuel M. Shortridge, of California; Charles A. 
Culberson, of Texas; Lee S. Overman, of North Carolina; James 
A. Reed, of Missouri; Henry F. Ashurst, of Arizona; John K. 
Shields, of Tennessee; Thomas J. Walsh, of Montana. 

It is hoped that all readers of the American Child will com- 
municate with Senator McCormick, with the Chairman of the 
Judiciary Committee, and with other Senators, in support of this 
resolution. Especially is it desired that you write or wire the 
Senators from your own state. 

The McCormick resolution follows the wording of the draft 
amendment agreed upon after several successive meetings of the 
Permanent Conference for the Abohtion of Child Labor, which 
was formed in Washington in May, after the decision of the Supreme 
Court declaring unconstitutional the federal child labor tax law, 
by representatives of numerous labor and civic organizations inter- 
ested in child welfare. The following are among the organizations 
represented in the Permanent Conference: General Federation of 
Women's Clubs; National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teach- 

74 The American Child 

ers Association; National Organization for Public Health Nursing; 
National Women's Trade Union League; Service Bureau; Na- 
tional Council of Catholic Women; National Council of Women; 
National Women's Relief Society; National Board of the Y. W. 
C. A.; National Council of Jewish Women; American Associa- 
tion of University Women; International Committee Y. M. C. A.; 
Children's Bureau, Department of Labor; Women's Bureau, De- 
partment of Labor; American Association of Labor Legislation; 
Federal Council Churches of Christ in America; The Pubhc Edu- 
cation and Child Labor Association of Pennsylvania; American 
Federation of Labor; and the National Child Labor Committee. 

The steering and cooperating committee consists of Samuel 
Gompers, Mrs. Florence Kelley, Miss Matilda Lindsay, Frank Mor- 
rison, Mrs. Maud Wood Park, Matthew WoU, Mrs. Glen Swiggert, 
WilHam Green, Miss Grace Abbott, Thomas F. McMahon, George 
W. Perkins, Congressman John L Nolan, John J. Manning, William 
H. Johnston, Mrs. Thomas G. Winter and Owen R. Love joy. 

Legislation in Virginia 

The child welfare laws recently passed in Virginia, which went 
into effect June 1, are an example of the wise type of social legis- 
lation which can result from an awakened interest on the part of a 
group in the state. Much credit is due to the Children's Code 
Commission — of which Judge Ricks is the chairman — which studied 
the existing laws and drafted the bills proposed to the last legisla- 
tive session. Mr. Wiley H. Swift, representative of the National 
Child Labor Committee, cooperated with Judge H. Ricks, Mrs. 
Louis Brownlow, and Miss Adele Clark, state president of the 
League of Women Voters, in backing the child welfare bills and 
securing their success. 

Important legislation relating to juvenile courts, the State 
Board of Public Welfare, child-placing and child-caring institutions 
and agencies, maternity hospitals, nurseries for children under six 
years, industrial schools, reformatories, recreation centers, and 
compulsory education, was passed, as well as amendments to the 
child labor laws. The Sheppard-Towner Bill was accepted. 

A children's bureau was created within the State Board of 


News From the Child Welfare Field 75 

Public Welfare and local boards were provided for each county of 
the state. 

Juvenile court bills were all passed in excellent shape. The 
Juvenile Court procedure bill provides for chancery proceeding, 
instead of the old semi-criminal procedure, which previously existed. 
A new bill extends the juvenile and domestic relation courts system 
to the counties of the state, giving them practically the same juris- 
diction now exercised by those courts in cities. The plan is to have 
a special justice of the peace appointed by the judge of the circuit 

The most important amendment to the child labor law extends 
the 14-year age limit to include all gainful occupations except agri- 
culture, thereby affecting a large number of children. 

Another important change raises the age limit for street trading 
to 14 years for boys and 18 for girls (with the exemption of boys 
12 to 16 outside school hours), and prohibits night work in street 
trading — a much needed provision. It also makes street permits 
necessary for boys 12 to 16 bootblacking, selling newspapers or 
running errands. 

Boys 16 and girls 18 are forbidden to work in cigar stores, 
theatres, concert halls, pool rooms, restaurants, steam laundries, or 
passenger or freight elevators. 

Hours are reduced from a 48- to a 44-hour week under 16 in 
all gainful occupations except agriculture. A general exemption is 
made in the cases of children 12 to 16 in canneries when schools 
are not in session. 

Compulsory school attendance is raised from 8 to 12 during 
ten weeks each year to 8 to 14 during entire school year, with exemp- 
tion if the child has completed the elementary course of study or 
is regularly and legally employed. 

The mothers' pension act is extended to include female guar- 
dians and mothers whose husbands are insane, in prison, physically 
incapacitated, divorced or charged with desertion, the amount 
being left to the discretion of the supervisors of the county or the 
governing body of the city. 

The new child labor laws, together with the acts regulating 
child welfare and compulsory education, put Virginia among the 
more advanced states in this kind of legislation, and form a splendid 
basis for future protection of children. 

76 The American Child 

Legislation in Other States 

Important child welfare legislation in Louisiana has met with 
defeat, although several bills in the interest of working children 
are still pending. A bill regulating street trades, night work, and 
street permits was reported unfavorably in the House on June 6th. 

However, a bill has been passed providing that parish school 
boards shall have authority to organize and maintain special classes 
or schools for mentally, morally, and physically deficient children 
whose needs cannot be properly cared for in the regular public 

An appropriation of $12,129 out of the State Treasury has been 
proposed for the promotion of maternity and infancy in Louisiana; 
no action has yet been taken. 

A bill relative to an appointment of a commission of seven by 
the governor, to be known as Commission on Laws of Minors, to 
review laws of Maryland relating to minors and report with recom- 
mendations to the next General Assembly, in 1924, was introduced 
for the first time in March and referred to the Committee on Judiciary. 

Both Houses in Massachusetts have adopted a resolution in 
favor of a Constitutional Amendment giving Congress the power 
to regulate hours of labor for women and minors. ''By reason of 
lack of uniformity in laws of several states respecting hours of labor, 
the General Court of Massachusetts petitions that Congress pro- 
pose a Constitutional Amendment." 

Industrial Home Work of Children 

Industrial home work in a state with no system of regulation 
means child labor at ages and under conditions prohibited for fac- 
tory employment, according to a report just issued by the U. S. 
Department of Labor through the Children's Bureau. The report 
is entitled :' 'Industrial Home Work of Children," and gives the 
results of a study made in three Rhode Island cities. At the time 
of the study, none of the labor laws of that state appHed to work 
done in homes. 

It was found that at least 5,000 children under 16 years of age 
had done home work in the course of a year, that over 7 per cent 
of all the children 5 to 15 years of age, inclusive, in the three cities, 

News From the Child Welfare Field 77 

had been engaged in such work during that period, and that 3.5 
per cent had worked for 30 days or more. Of these 2,338 children 
who had worked at least one month out of the year and had received 
compensation, 4 per cent were under 6 years of age and 46 per cent 
were under the age of 11. 

The standards set up by the State of Rhode Island for school 
children and children working in factories were violated in the case 
of home-working children, the report states, in four respects: Child- 
ren of school age remained at home occasionally or for extended 
periods to do home work, contrary to the compulsory school-attend- 
ance law of the state; children under the age of 14 were engaged 
at home in kinds of work which the law prohibited them from doing 
in factories; children under the age of 16 who worked in factories 
did overtime work at home contrary to the spirit of the law limiting 
hours of labor; and children injured in the course of home work 
did not receive compensation under the workmen's compensation 
law. Injuries, especially accidents from machines installed in the 
homes, in addition to eye strain and fatigue reacting upon school 
work, were frequent. 

Twenty-one industries, among which the jewelry industry led, 
were represented by the 258 manufacturing establishments distrib- 
uting home work in the district of the study; 153 establishments 
were covered by the inquiry. The principal kinds of work included 
carding snaps, stringing tags, drawing threads from lace, linking and 
wiring rosary beads, setting stones in jewelry, and assembling mili- 
tary buttons. 

Four-fifths of the 956 children who reported earnings could not 
make, at the rates paid, so much as 10 cents an hour working at 
top speed; half could not make 5 cents. Of the families reporting 
total yearly earnings from home work, almost nine-tenths earned 
less than $100 and nearly three-fifths earned less than $25. These 
earnings in nearly all cases represented compensation for the 
work of more than one person; in over two-thirds of the families 
included in the study, at least three persons had engaged in home 

A possible danger to the health of the community was found 
in the fact that large numbers of families reported doing home 
work while members of the family were ill with infectious diseases. 
In some cases the sick persons took part in the work. 

78 The American Child 

The testimony of manufacturers using the home-work system 
indicates, the report states, that industrial home work in this dis- 
trict could be abolished with few business losses. 

Child Labor Prohibitions for Industrial Home Work 

The following regulations governing Industrial Home Work, 
submitted for a final public hearing at Philadelphia on May 4, 
1922, were adopted by the Industrial Board May 9, 1922, to become 
ejffective September 1, 1922. 

1. Minors under 14 shall not be employed in Industrial Home work. 

2. No minor under 16 may be employed for more than 51 hours a 
week, nor more than 9 hours a day, nor before 6 o'clock in the morning 
nor after 8 o'clock in the evening. 

3. Every minor between 14 and 16 years of age must attend, for the 
equivalent of not less than 8 hours each week, a continuation school in 
the school district where said minor is employed. 

4. These 8 hours shall be reckoned in the 51 hours a week permitted 

5. Minors between 14 and 16 shall not work without an employment 
certificate, which certificate must be kept on file by the employer. 

6. General employment certificates are required where children under 
16 are employed all the time. 

7. Vocation employment certificates are required where minors under 
16 work at any time except when they are required to attend school. 

8. Employment certificates may be issued only by the District Super- 
intendent, Supervising Principal, or Secretary of the Board of School 
Directors, or other school ofl&cial, deputized in writing by any of the other 
school officials authorized by law to issue such certificates. 

9. No minor under 16, who has not completed the work of the 6th 
grade in pubHc schools, shall be entitled to an employment certificate. 

10. Before an employment certificate be issued, the prospective em- 
ployer must make a statement in writing that he expects to give employ- 
ment to a minor applying for such certificate. 

11. Employers must acknowledge, in writing, to the issuing officer, 
receipt of an employment certificate within 3 days after beginning of 
minor's employment. 

12. Upon termination of employment, the employer must return the 
employment certificate to the issuing school official. 

Commonwealth Fund Health Program 

The Conmionwealth Fund has decided to finance a thorough 
child health program in three typical cities for a period of five 

News From the Child Welfare Field 79 

years. The general qualifications of the first city to be selected 
are that it should be from 15,000 to 25,000 in population, with 
an infant mortality of approximately 100 per 1,000 live births, or 

The program will comprise safe-guarding the health of the 
mother-to-be, laying a good health foundation for children in the 
early sensitive and formative period of their growth, health super- 
vision, and the formation of the essential health habits in school 
children. The responsibility for carrying out this comprehensive 
child health program is placed upon the American Child Hygiene 
Association and the Child Health Organization of America. 

A joint committee will have charge of all general policies and 
plans. Mr. Barry C. Smith of the Commonwealth Fund was 
elected chairman of this committee, Dr. Philip Van Ingen of the 
American Child Hygiene Association, treasurer, and Mr. Courtenay 
Dinwiddie of the National Child Health Council, executive secre- 
tary. The opening of an office at 532 Seventeenth Street, North 
West, Washington, D. C, was authorized. Active work will begin 
at once. 

After careful consideration the committee has decided that the 
first city to be assisted in developing a thorough program for child 
health will be selected from the upper half of the Mississippi Valley 
region. Two other cities are to be selected in other sections of the 
country after work has been well started in the first. 

Milbank Memorial Fund Demonstration 

Plans for the selection of three localities in which health demon- 
strations will be conducted under the Milbank Memorial Fund 
Demonstration, are now well under way. The localities will include : 

A rural county, selected from a group of counties ranging 

in population from 45,000 to 75,000. 

A second-class city, the selection to be determined by the 

degree of participation assured by the local authorities 

and private agencies. 

A district with a population of at least 100,000 in a large 

metropolitan city, if there is a demand for it. 

The counties and cities will be located in New York State. 

80 The American Child 

The selection of the rural county and the small city will depend 
largely on the results of two studies now being undertaken. A 
statistical study of these communities is being made under the 
direction of Commissioner Herman M. Biggs of the State Depart- 
ment of Health, and under the immediate supervision of Miss 
Jessamine S. Whitney, statistician of the National Tuberculosis 
Association. The direction of the social study of the communities is 
in the hands of Mr. Homer Folks, Secretary of the State Charities 
Aid Association, under direct supervision of George J. Nelback, 
Secretary of the Committee on Tuberculosis and Public Health. 

A Review of "Rural Child Welfare" 

In The New Republic of June 21, Dorothy Canfield Fisher writes 
of "Rural Child Welfare" as follows: 

''Every day's mail brings to me, as member of a State Board 
of Education, two or three letters from conscientious women, asking 
me how they can make themselves useful in 'doing something for 
the schools and for school children.' From now on I shall always 
begin my answer by advising them to read and to study this admir- 
able book, quite as instructive, suggestive and stimulating for 
country dwellers in Vermont or Minnesota or Indiana, as for those 
in West Virginia, about whom it is written. 

"It is a satisfaction to have such an excellent model to place 
in the hands of people, willing and ready to do what they can to 
enrich and protect child life, but wholly uninformed as to facts, 
and what is more serious, wholly untrained in methods of determin- 
ing facts. The scientific spirit of exact thoroughness which ani- 
mates the book will be a tonic revelation to hazy-minded people of 
good intentions, who cannot fail to profit by such an example of 
how to investigate a situation intelKgently before attempting to 
cope with it, of how to state your problem clearly, coherently 
and completely before trying to solve it. 

"This book does better than provide a good recipe for this sort 
of work; it takes its readers out into the kitchen and lets them 
stand by to watch the whole progress of putting the recipe into 
execution; the materials used and the conditions of work being 
exactly what any country-dweller has to handle. 

"This does not mean that the conditions found in West-Vir- 

News From the CUM Welfare Field 81 

ginia, and so accurately and sympathetically set down in this book, 
are exactly reproduced in Vermont, Minnesota or Indiana. On the 
contrary, every reader will find occasional pages on which he can 
make the relieved comment, 'Well, it's not so bad as that, here,' 
(and yet, even at that, let him not be too sure till he has covered 
with the thoroughness of this investigation even a very small dis- 
trict of the state he thinks he knows intimately). Nor does it 
mean that every reader will agree with every conclusion reached by 
the careful, thoughtful investigators of West Virginia. Personally 
I do not at all agree, either in theory or practice, with their sweep- 
ing, unqualified endorsement of school-consolidation as the only way 
to improve rural primary schools. 

''But, though the reader like myself may never have set foot 
in West Virginia, he will not find a page in the book over which he 
can slide comfortably without being stung into doing some think- 
ing. He will find a recognition and statement there of many a 
problem of American rural child-life, which until now he, along with 
all other American country-dwellers, has blandly ignored because of 
its familiarity. A good example of this is the plain, truthful, un- 
exaggerated statement of the practically universal failure of the 
present truant system to get rural children regularly to school. 
Everybody who has ever lived in the country knows that it does 
not work, and never has worked, and never can work, till some- 
thing is done about it. We all know, too, that it fails because of 
the network of close personal relations in country life. But we 
have all looked the other way, and kept a profound silence on this 
failure as one of the explanations for the astounding amount of 
illiteracy revealed by the recent army census. City dwellers (aknost 
without exception educational and statistical experts are city dwellers) 
have not guessed at what was hidden by our silence, but it is at 
last shown up in this book. Personally I am once more unable to 
agree with the recommendations of these investigators, about the 
best way to solve this difficulty. I do not think that a different 
law, or a different set of officials ever go far towards solving any 
difficulty unless public opinion is changed, and I think it perfectly 
possible to change public opinion about this matter. But the book 
has done something of very great value in pulling this difficulty out 
of the dark corner where we have kept it hidden, and holding it 
up so that it can no longer be ignored. 

82 The American Child 

"Another good example of what this volume does, is its treat- 
ment of play. Country people have ignored the necessity to provide 
play and recreation for country children quite as systematically as 
the failures of the truant laws; and much more honestly, for as a 
rule they have had no notion that there was anything there to 
ignore. No chapter of this very useful book will be more useful 
than the one on Rural Recreation. The country-dwelling citizens 
and local and state officials who, it is to be hoped, will read this 
report, will find perhaps more new food for thought in that chapter 
and in the suggestions about play, than in any other part of this 
reasonable, practical, intelligent and humane volume. '^ 

Children of Wage-Earning Mothers 

Gainful emplo3Tnent of mothers of young children frequently 
means that the children receive inadequate care during the day, or 
no care at all, according to a report entitled, "Children of Wage- 
Earning Mothers, A Study of a Selected Group in Chicago," just 
made pubfic by the U. S. Department of Labor through the Child- 
ren's Bureau. Other conditions found include retarded school 
progress of the children, over-fatigue and ill-health of the mothers 
— with consequent loss to the children — and in some instances over- 
work by children who had the responsibility for household tasks 
beyond their strength. 

The report presents the results of a study of 843 families of 
working mothers, in which were 2,066 children under the age of 
14 years. The group included families known to the Chicago 
United Charities and to the day nurseries, and included also a 
special group of 212 colored families. It was found that the prob- 
lem of the emplojnnent of mothers had to do with both normal 
and broken families. Where the father was a member of the family 
group and worked regularly his earnings were, in the great majority 
of cases, inadequate for the family support. 

The school-attendance records of a group of 742 children were 
obtained, and these compared unfavorably with the attendance of 
all the children enrolled in nine selected schools in workers' neigh- 
borhoods. A large amount of retardation was found among the 
children of wage-earning mothers, over one-third of whom were 
below the standard grade for their age. 

News From the Child Welfare Field 83 

Factory Inspection in Jugo-Slavia 

The International Labour Review quotes the following points as 
worthy of note from the first annual report of the Labour Inspection 
Department of Jugo-Slavia. 

Only twelve industrial inspection officials were at work during 
1920. During this year 1,138 undertakings, employing 36,027 per- 
sons, were inspected; 279 of these undertakings were commercial 
and 850 industrial; 397 used mechanical power and the rest were 
entirely dependent on man-power. The age-distribution of the 
36,027 persons employed in the above-mentioned undertakings was 
as follows: 

Male workers 

36 under 12 years of age 

1,791 between 12 and 16 years of age 
26,486 above 16 years of age 

Female workers 

37 under 12 years of age 

1,127 between 12 and 16 years of age 
6,550 above 16 years of age 

These numbers, however, do not correctly represent the total 
number of workers in the country, since industrial inspection is not 
yet carried on in every district; even in areas where it has begun, 
it has proved impossible to visit all undertakings on account of the 
inadequacy of the available staff. It may be anticipated that com- 
plete statistical returns will be presented in 1922. 

Before the war it was not specially advantageous to employers 
to engage either unmarried or married persons, since each worker 
was paid according to ability. These conditions have been changed 
in an important respect. A basic wage is now paid, to which bonuses 
are added according to the responsibilities of the worker for wife 
children, parents, etc. It is therefore cheaper for the employer to 
engage unmarried persons, and married workers are being dismissed 
and replaced by unmarried ones. It is obvious that this produces 
an intolerable, situation, which calls for relief at the earliest possible 
moment; the number of married persons who are unemployed 
increases daily. 

84 The American Child 

Complaints of the illegal employment of young persons and 
women are very common, and the regulations on hours of work are 
being disregarded; in southern Serbia, in particular, the daily hours 
of work still amount to more than 14. 

Employment-Certificate Conference 

The increasing interest which schools are taking in the children 
who leave their classrooms at an early age to go to work was evi- 
denced by the inclusion in the National Education Association pro- 
gram this 3^ear for the first time of a section on ''Standards and Prob- 
lems of Employment-Certificate Issuance." The meetings were held 
under the joint auspices of the National Education Association and 
the Children's Bureau. In opening the conference Miss Grace 
Abbott, Chief of the Children's Bureau, emphasized the fact that 
the age, education and physical standards of a child labor law can 
be uniformly enforced only if every child is required to have a cer- 
tificate, and if certificates are issued only upon reliable evidence that 
the child is legally qualified to work. 

A paper by Miss Anne S. Davis on the ''Organization and Pro- 
cedure of the Local Issuing Office," brought out very clearly the 
advantages of having certificate issuance closely correlated, as it is 
in Chicago, with the vocational guidance and placement work, the 
attendance department, the industrial studies division, and the 
factory inspection department. She spoke in some detail of the 
careful medical examination which is given every applicant. Twenty 
to thirty per cent of the children are refused certificates because of 
defects; the greatest number for malnutrition. By referring ttiem 
to clinics or sending them to Arden Shore camp, which is main- 
tained for the purpose, defective conditions are corrected and health 
is built up. Dr. Wade Wright of Boston brought out the necessity 
of having this work done by competent physicians, appointed for 
the purpose. The examination is important, he believes, not only 
to exclude children from occupations for which they are not fitted, 
but as a check upon the school medical inspection work, and as a 
basis of comparison with the findings of subsequent examinations 
to determine the effects of early employment. 

News From the Child Welfare Field 85 

Miss Edith Campbell of CincinDati, discussed the bearing 
which work permits have upon school problems, and stressed the 
need for reorganizing grade work to meet the needs of retarded 

Mr. Taylor Frey of Wisconsin described the State Employment 
Certificate System, controlled by the State Industrial Commission, 
which has the power of refusing to allow children to work for unde- 
sirable employers. 

Dr. E. J. Licklsy summarized conditions in California, and 
Miss Jeanie Minor of New York and Miss Esther Lee Ryder of 
Alabama discussed the enforcement of the educational and age 
standard in issuing employment certificates. 

At the close of the conference a resolution was passed request- 
ing the Children's Bureau to call a similar meeting at some future 
date, and asking that a discussion of the control of street trading 
be included in the program. 

Child Labor in Oyster and Shrimp-Canning Communities 

A report made public by the U. S. Department of Labor through 
the Children's Bureau described child labor in the oyster and shrimp- 
canning industry during the period between the first and second 
Federal child labor laws, when no Federal regulation of child labor 
existed. Special significance attaches to the report in view of the 
decision of the U. S. Supreme Court, rendered on May 15, which 
held the Federal Child Labor Tax Law unconstitutional and thus 
leaves the children again without the protection of a Federal law. 
The report, entitled ''Child Labor and the Work of Mothers in 
Oyster and Shrimp -Canning Communities on the Gulf Coast," calls 
attention to the very young ages of many of the children employed, 
the detrimental conditions under which they worked, the poor 
school facilities, the marked retardation in school, and the employ- 
ment of mothers of young children. 

The work of both the children and their parents was subject 
to all the irregularities of the canning industry, the report states. 
Since the work depended on the catch, it began any time between 
3 and 7 o'clock in the morning, and lasted a few hours, a whole day, 
or sometimes on into the evening. Of the 544 working children 

86 The American Child 

under 16 years of age included in the study, more than three-fifths 
worked whenever the factory was open. The others worked only 
occasionally or before and after school and on Saturdays. The 
majority of the children — 334 of the 544 who worked — were under 
the age of 14 years, the minimum fixed by both of the Federal laws. 
Some were as young as six years of age or under. 

Most of the cannery work was wet and dirty, and was done 
in cold, damp, drafty sheds, the oyster shuckers or shrimp pickers 
standing among the empty oyster shells or shrimp hulls. The 
workers were liable to injuries from the sharp oyster shells, shrimp 
thorns, and work knives, and to constant soreness of the hands 
from acid in the shrimp. Many injuries were reported among 

In order to secure an increased supply of labor which the em- 
ployers are able to control, the custom of importing families from 
the North has been carried on each winter for a number of years. 
These migratory workers are housed in company camps, which 
usually were found to be insanitary and overcrowded. With no 
community held responsible for their education, 37 per cent of the 
white children 10 to 15 years of age in the migratory families studied 
were illiterate, as compared with 4 per cent for approximately the 
same age group, both white and colored, for the United States as a 
whole. Nearly two-thirds of the children of these families at the 
ages of 14 and 15 had not completed the fourth grade. Even among 
the local children who worked in the canneries retardation in school 
was serious. Nineteen per cent of the resident white children and 
25 per cent of the colored, could neither read nor write. 

In about one-fourth of the families in which the mother or the 
children were employed, the father was dead or had deserted the 
family. The study was made at a time when earnings were said 
by employers and workers to be higher than ever before, but the 
earnings of the fathers for their best week during this season were 
found to be under $25 in two-thirds of the cases, and under $20 in 
nearly one-half; for the average week 79 per cent of the fathers 
made less than $25, and practically a third of them less than $15. 
Four-fifths of the mothers averaged less than $7.50 a week. 

Working mothers with children under 6 years of age either left 
them at home, in a majority of cases with only children as care- 
takers or with no caretakers at all, or took them with them to 'the 

News From the Child Welfare Field 87 

canneries, where they were subject to the physical discomforts of 
the canning sheds and were hable to accidents. 

Study of Child Welfare Laws in Alabama 

The June issue of Alabama Childhood, the official bulletin of 
the State Child Welfare Department, consists of a study of the 
laws affecting children and suggestions for legislation made for the 
Welfare Commission by the National Child Labor Committee. 

In 1921 the Commission appointed from its membership a com- 
mittee of five to make a careful study of child welfare legislation 
with special reference to the problems presented in Alabama, and 
to make recommendations for the removal of inconsistent, obsolete 
or otherwise undesirable laws and also recommendations for new 
legislation for the promotion of child welfare. The chair named on 
this committee W. T. Murphree, S. D. Murphy, Dr. S. W. Welch, 
Dr. John W. Abercrombie and Lawrence H. Lee. This committee 
was empowered to employ such expert service as it deemed neces- 
sary for the making of the study. 

Under these instructions the committee called on the National 
Child Labor Committee for help in making the study. Mr. Wiley 
H. Swift, Miss Mabel Brown ElHs and Miss Gertrude Folks were 
assigned to the task, and went to Alabama where a careful study 
of the State's laws, agencies and institutions was made. The 
National Child Labor Committee and the members of its staff who 
made the study realized that the local committee was more intimately 
acquainted with conditions in the state than they were. In fact, 
they understood that the report was to be preliminary and that the 
final report was to be the opinion of the special committee. But 
the study was accepted with slight revision by this committee on 
May 8, 1922, and the Commission as a whole received and adopted 
the report May 18, 1922. 

The agents of the National Child Labor Committee found that 
the Alabama general law for children is in the main satisfactory, 
and that there is no need for sweeping changes. The suggestions 
they made are therefore in the nature of development of already 
existing laws. Pending the next legislative session the special commit- 
tee is now drafting laws in conformity with these recommendations. 

88 The American Child 


The General Federation of Women's Clubs, which held their 
biennial convention at Chautauqua, New York, the last ten days 
in June, passed a resolution favoring a child labor amendment to 
the Constitution. Although all delegates present saw the necessity 
for child labor reform, the resolution was preceded by a lively dis- 
cussion as to the proper method of attaining the reform. The 
majority, however, believed that the only sure way of securing 
effective legislation for the protection of children is through a con- 
stitutional amendment. 

For several years there has been in Rome an agricultural colony 
of sixty children, the aim of which is to educate poor minors, orphans, 
and deserted children. They are given a primary education up to 
12 years of age, followed by vocational training. 

In France there are 15 apprentice schools of agriculture for 
children of dead or wounded soldiers. The apprenticeship lasts 
three years, and boys must have a certificate of primary studies or 
be 13 years old to gain admittance. 

Charles E. Gibbons, of the staff of the National Child Labor 
Committee, presented a paper, 'The Extent and Control of Rural 
Child Labor," before the Department of Rural Education at the 
Annual Convention of the National Education Association in Bos- 
ton, Friday afternoon, July 7th. 

In order to make intensive studies in the development of child- 
ren between the ages of two and four years, the Iowa child welfare 
station has organized a pre-school laboratory, where twenty children 
are now under daily observation and experimentation. This is the 
first laboratory school of its kind in America. — Journal of Education. 

According to a decision handed down recently by the compen- 
sation referee at Philadelphia, child workers between the ages of 
14 and 16 who are injured on their way to continuation school are 
entitled to the benefits of the workman's compensation act. — Jour- 
nal of American Medical Association. 

News From the Child Welfare Field 89 

The National Child Labor Committee has received the follow- 
ing letter from Dr. Louis Miller, chairman of the Committee on 
Medical Literature of the American Medical Aid for Russia 

"We beg to acknowledge receipt of your literature, which 
as you may see from the enclosed notice, has been forwarded 
to Russia on the S.S. Belvedere, which sailed May 31st. 

''Inasmuch as literature on children is now of particular 
interest to Russia, we are glad to have been the medium of 
forwarding this, and we would be glad to receive from you all 
future literature for the same purpose." 

The National Association of Travelers Aid Societies announces 
the appointment of John R. Shillady, formerly executive director 
of the National Consumers' League, as general director of its work 
in aid of travelers. 

Wiley H. Swift, of the staff of the National Child Labor Com- 
mittee, spoke in Toronto, June 22nd, before the Kiwanis Club In- 
ternational on the subject, ''A Fair Chance for the Underprivileged 
Child— A Future Citizen.'' 

The U. S. Bureau of Education encouragingly reports on one 
method of solving the problem of rural education. Transportation 
of pupils to the public schools is specifically provided for by the 
school laws of 43 states. The remaining 5 states — Delaware, Florida, 
New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — permit transportation under the 
authority granted to school trustees or directors to provide for the 
general weKare of their school districts. 

One of the three planks in the platform of the Progressive 
Feminist Party, a new political body organized in Chile for the 
purpose of gaining all the rights claimed by women, is the found- 
ing of a ministry of public welfare and education, headed by a 
woman executive, to protect women and children and to improve 
living conditions. — Bulletin of the Pan-American Union. 

According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, a total of 
136,441 boys and girls were enrolled in agricultural extension clubs, 
in 1921, for training in various phases of Uve-stock work. These 
junior farmers owned, last year, 76,149 head of farm animals and 
554,286 fowls, representing a total value of $3,605,176. 

90 The American Child 

Although agricultural extension methods are older in Denmark 
than in the United States, work with boys and girls as conducted 
by the United States Department of Agriculture in cooperation 
with state agricultural colleges has not yet been organized there. 
A plan, however, is being considered for forming such clubs, says 
S. Sorensen, agricultural advisor attached to the Danish Legation 
at Washington. At present the work in Denmark is for people 
from 18 to 70 years. 

A news item in a Raleigh, North Carolina, paper reports that 
the Drexel Furniture Company has instituted a suit for the recovery 
of $6,312 in taxes paid by the furniture concern under protest, 
child labor products tax. Judge James E. Boyd, who made the 
ruHng holding the federal child labor law unconstitutional, signed 
final judgment directing the United States Treasury to refund the 

SW|[^ Am^rtratt (Etjilft 

A Journal of Constructive Democracy 
Published Quarterly 

Owen R. Lovejoy Editor 

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Contributing Editors 

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Yearly subscription, four issues, two dollars. Single copies fifty cents. 

105 East 22nd Street - - New York City 


The Supreme Court decision of May 15, declaring unconstitu- 
tional the federal child labor tax law of 1919, has received widespread 
attention. Public opinion is unanimous in its insistence on child 
labor reform, and many leading newspapers and magazines have 
come out vigorously in favor of federal action based on a constitu- 
tional amendment, as the only effective method of securing the 
reform which public sentiment demands. 

The New York Times suggests that the Supreme Court decision 
declaring the child labor law unconstitutional is a disguised blessing. 
After pointing out in detail in how many ways the recently invali- 
dated child labor law was inadequate, it says: "The great campaign 
for improving child labor conditions which is now going forward 
with renewed energy is aiming much higher. It is working to raise 
the age limit at which boys and girls can enter any occupation. It 
strives to estabHsh health standards and assure several years more 
schooling for boys and girls, whatever their subsequent work may 
be. With an aroused public conscience, it seems improbable that 
the next legislation will fall as far short of the ideal as those laws 
which have been repealed. The whole problem of child labor, its 
importance to the health, education and morals of the next gener- 
ation will be opened and attacked in a broader spirit and with 
increased vigor." 

The New York Mail writes: 

"After muddling around for more than ten years with the 
child labor question, it would seem that even Congress must 
be convinced by now that the only adequate recourse is to an 
amendment of the Federal Constitution. Since Congress first 
began dallying with the matter children have grown up into 
imperfect and stunted manhood and womanhood who might 
have attained normal and healthful development if the thing 
had been done right in the first place. Are the boys and girls 
of today to be doomed to the same melancholy fate? The 


92 The American Child 

inhumanity, the injustice, the barbarity of child exploitation 
has come to be so generally understood that none dare uphold 
it in the open. Congress must see to it that none can continue 
a bushwhacking warfare against it in secret. New legislation 
ought to be written into the nation's statutes immediately, on 
whatever ground promises success. In the meantime the 
machinery of amending the Constitution should be set in motion 
without an instant's delay." 

''It is plain," declares the New York Globe, "that a Constitu- 
tion drafted in 1791, before the rise of the factory system, is not 
adequate to meet the necessities of a nation as completely indus- 
trialized as is the United States of 1922." In a later issue, the 
Globe reiterates its urgent demand for a constitutional amendment: 
'Two successive annulments of federal laws forbidding 
premature child labor by the United States Supreme Court 
have so aroused public opinion that apparently the way has 
been prepared for the adoption of a child labor amendment to 
the national Constitution. . . . Congress obviously ought to 
have such powers as would be conferred by this amendment. 
It is absurd that this nation should now have no legal authority 
to interfere with conditions injurious to the health or morals 
of the coming generations. For if a nation cannot defend its 
young it cannot assure its own existence. These propositions 
are so widely accepted that child labor laws duly safeguarded 
in the Constitution ought soon to be upon the statute books." 

In the opinion of the New York Tribune: 

"The only adequate safeguard now feasible is a constitu- 
tional amendment nullifying the recent decision. Opponents 
of child labor barbarities should at once become active in behalf 
of an amendment. The difficulties are great, but they can be 
met. It has been shown that the Constitution is amendable — 
that the old idea that the consent of three-fourths of the states 
cannot ever be secured to change is faulty. The amendment 
should be drawn in the simplest form and be confined to the 
single matter of child labor, for any sort of larger general federal 
control over interstate commerce would be combated and lead 
to comphcations." 

The New York newspapers just quoted are by no means the 
only ones voicing strong sentiment in favor of a child labor amend- 
ment to the Constitution. According to the Washington Star: 

"Constitutional amendments are not as difficult to obtain 
nowadays as in the past. It is possible to modify the organic 

Editorial Comment on Child Labor Decision 93 

law when a public demand is generally expressed. Some years 
ago an amendment was adopted, when a Supreme Court deci- 
sion pointed to its necessity, in order that an income tax might 
be levied. ^ It is the hope of those concerned for the correction 
of the child labor evil to repeat this procedure and lay the 
foundations for an effective federal statute following amend- 
ment. The fight against child labor is not to be stopped by 
legal barriers which can be removed." 

"The Constitution," the Boston Transcript says, "certainly 
could not have provided for every emergency, for every develop- 
ment of the national sense of morals and necessity." 

The Denver (Colo.) Times declares: "We doubt not that the 
rights of children are as important to the thoughtful American 
citizen as those of the adult population. They must be protected 
against the greed of industry. If the only way to effect this pro- 
tection is by constitutional amendment, then let it so be done, in 
order that the American child may be given an opportunity in 
every nook and cranny of the nation to grow up to citizenship free 
from the stunting influence of the factory, the mine and the shop." 

The Cleveland (Ohio) Press points out that "The Supreme 
Court's decision accords with the Constitution; but the Constitu- 
tion must be amended if American civilization is to advance at an 
even level." 

The San Francisco (Cal.) Journal writes: 

"A society that imposes premature age on children by 
making drudges of them at the time they should be building 
up their bodies by free play in the open air, or their minds by 
education, will perish prematurely and will deserve its fate. 
By two recent amendments to the Constitution, measures have 
been taken to make the poisonous liquor traffic a matter of 
national concern and to secure national recognition of the rights 
of women as citizens. If we do not regard the rights of child- 
ren as an equally important issue and of equal concern to the 
nation as a whole, our boasted ideahsm is a rather hollow 

The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News takes the view that the Supreme 
Court decision caused considerable satisfaction even among the 
most ardent opponents of child labor, "for it was felt that the 
apparent impossibility of enacting a satisfactory national law would 

94 The American Child 

hasten the adoption of a federal amendment which would serve the 

same purpose in a larger and more thorough way. 

'The feeling in favor of such an amendment, in spite of 
the delay always attendant upon a change in the Constitution, 
is Ukely to grow, particularly when it is realized that the un- 
successful law would have reached only 15 per cent of the 
working children in the United States, leaving the other 85 
per cent unprotected. Children in street trades, sweated tene- 
ment house children and the miUion children in agricultural 
labor were wholly untouched by this law. 

''Those who are working for a federal amendment on this 
matter are keeping in mind the fact that many states now have 
excellent child labor laws within their own boundaries and that 
progress is being made year by year in improving local condi- 
tions. The amendment will be so worded that its requirement 
will be the minimum and so not annul the effect of state laws 
that are in advance of it." 

The Jackson (Miss.) Clarion takes the progressive attitude that 
child labor is a national interest. "America cannot for its own sake 
afford to have its youth deadened by unremitting and burdensome 
toil under conditions which prevail wherever child labor is exploited. 
It is more than a state interest. It is a national interest and it 
will be very unfortunate if the evil is allowed to continue." 

The Houston (Texas) Chronicle takes issue with those who criti- 
cise the decision of the Supreme Court, and admonishes them to 
take the constructive viewpoint rather than the destructive: 

"If the law is unconstitutional, and we still want it, there 
is something more important and more constructive for us to 
do than make faces at the court. Since we have the power 
to amend the Constitution, unconstitutionality of any given 
law is no permanent barrier to its final enactment. If three- 
fourths of the states want it, there is a way for them to get 
it. Whether a federal child labor law can be made effective 
under existing provisions of the Constitution seems rather 
doubtful. At all events, Congress has tried twice and failed. 
Meanwhile, and if a great majority of people favor such a 
law, as we believe, there is an open road by which to guarantee 
its constitutionality. That road is the obvious one to follow." 

The American Federationist, representing organized labor, de- 
mands a constitutional amendment as the only remaining legislative 
remedy: "The labor movement will continue its work of emancipa- 

Editorial Comment on Child Labor Decision 95 

tion, but a constitutional amendment is needed to complete the 
work quickly. The Supreme Court cannot reach a constitutional 
amendment. Every great moral force in the country should rally 
to the cause of the children, demanding and working constructively 
for immediate congressional action for a constitutional amendment 
to save the children from the greed of employers." 

One of the problems that has arisen from the Supreme Court 
decision is the old question of states' rights. Some people still 
feel that political tradition and absolute state autonomy are more 
vital than the welfare of a nation's future citizens. Dr. John A. 
Ryan, in the Catholic Charities Review, clearly defines this issue: 

'The division between matters which are proper for state 
legislation and those which should be subject to federal »con- 
trol is clear. All subjects of a local nature which either do 
not affect the people of other states at all, or affect them only 
shghtly and indirectly, should be reserved to local and state 
control. All matters which directly and considerably concern 
the people of more than one state, should be regulated by gen- 
eral federal laws. Not only the emplojonent of child labor, 
but the whole province of industrial relations belong in the 
latter class. They should all be subject to regulation by Con- 
gress. What we need is an amendment to the Federal Con- 
stitution empowering Congress to regulate all the conditions 
of employment of labor, including the power to fix minimum 
rates of wages in all industries." 

The New Republic interprets the situation not only from a 
logical viewpoint but from the humanitarian point of view that 
the welfare of children is not something to be argued along geo- 
graphical or political lines: 

"It is not necessary, after a century and a half of indus- 
trialism, to argue at length the case against child labor. Every 
intelligent person who is not blinded by self-interest knows that 
labor in mines and factories and shops is injurious to growing 
children. It is a grave wrong to the children themselves, but 
that may be conceived of as a matter which Hes between the 
children and the state in which they are domiciled, if one chooses 
to bound his human sympathies by rather shadowy geographical 
lines. It is a wrong to industrial society, which will pay, in 
future ill health and incompetence, for the small present profits 
to the exploiters of child labor. And American industrial 
society is not partitioned off by state fines. It is a wrong to 
the nation, which depends in war upon the physical fitness and 

96 The American Child 

mental alertness of its young men, and in peace upon the vigor 
and intelligence of its citizenship. 

''But child welfare is such an intimate, such an imperative 
matter: is it credible that the nation should need to step in 
to hold any state to its duties to its children? Is it credible 
that the state should need to step in to hold the parents of 
children to their duties? It is credible. The history of child 
labor proves that, conclusively." 

''We believe," it continues, "that the case is one that calls for 
national action. We are not in reaUty one nation unless we can 
establish minimum national standards, most of all in the field of 
child welfare." 

To allow the exploitation of childhood, for mere, present, material gain 
for the few, is suicidal to any commonwealth. Words are powerless to convey 
the disastrous consequences resulting from denial to any child, white or black, 
rich or poor, the opportunity to develop in home and school for the burdens 
of adulthood. Neglect of the child brings to us an endless file of unemployables, 
defectives and criminals. Of what use to spray a plant suffering from the cut- 
worm? Let us unite on a child labor constitutional amendment which will 
give to all children the fullness of life which is their birthright. 

— Grace E. Bliss, Woman's Legislative Council, Seattle, Washington. 



The study was made as a part of the work of the Connecticut 
Child Welfare Commission appointed in 1920. The concentration 
of effort in the direction of dependent, neglected, dehnquent and 
defective children prevented the undertaking of any field work in 
this study. As a result the study was made by questionnaire. 
Questionnaires were circulated in the grammar schools of four 
cities: Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and New London. Each 
child reporting work on the streets was questioned by his teacher 
and the replies entered on the questionnaire card. About 2,500 
cards were returned and 1,222 were selected for final analysis. 

The results of the study: 

I. Nativity. 

Birthplace of Street Traders 
Birthplace No. Per Cent 

United States 1,064 .88 

Foreign Country 151 . 11 

Unknown 7 .01 

Total 1,222 100 . 00 

Birthplace of Parents 
Birthplace No. Per Cent 

United States 276 . 23 

Foreign 931 .76 

Mixed or Unknown .- 15 .01 

TotaL__ ...' 1,222 100.00 

Table I and II deal with the matter of nativity; Table I indi- 
cates the nativity of the children, and Table II that of their parents. 

♦Paper read at Seventeenth National Conference on Child Labor. 


98 The American Child 

The table shows that very few of these children are foreign-born — ■ 
only 12 per cent; in fact, 88 per cent of them being of American 
birth; while, on the other hand, Table II practically reverses the 
percentages, 76 per cent of the parents being of foreign birth. 

II. Parental Conditions. 

The Connecticut figure of 84 per cent from normal homes sim- 
ply corroborates the findings in other cities. The broken home is 
a very slight factor in street trading. 

III. Emplojnnent of Parents. 

Tables VI and VII show that in 87 per cent of the cases the 
fathers of the children were employed, and that in 15 per cent the 
mother was employed. With respect to this latter figure, it is to 
be noted that in only 10 per cent of the cases was the mother widowed, 
so that as a matter of fact, in a few of the families both father and 
mother were at work at the time this study was made. The figures 
prove also that nearly all of these children are living with an adult 
male bread winner. 

IV. Earnings. 

The average earnings of these children, calculated on the basis 
of the above enumeration, are 54 cents per day. This figure 
does not represent, however, what the average child actually takes 
home. The general average is raised by the earnings of a few boys 
who really make good earnings. Sixty-five per cent of the children 
state that they can earn 50 cents and less per day; 26 per cent state 
that they can earn 25 cents or less per day; 19 per cent claim to 
earn more than $1.00 per day. For the greater number of children 
the earnings are below 50 cents. If the calculation is made of the 
average daily earnings of the group stating that they make 50 cents 
and below per day, the result is an average of 33 cents per day. The 
general average of 54 cents does not truly represent the amounts 
which most of these children are turning in; the latter named amount 
more closely approximates the sums which the greater mmiber of 
children are obtaining by their efforts. As Hexter remarks, "The 
average earnings are not representative as they include the excep- 
tional boys who earn the large amounts.^' 

Interpreting the figures from our returns in the fight of all the 

Connecticut Study of Street Trades 99 

facts of the case, a safe conclusion is that the regular earnings of 
these children will vary between $1.00 and $3.00 per week, the 
latter figure being somewhat higher than the average. 

V. School Work. 

About one-third of the street trading children are in the re- 
tarded group as compared with one-sixth in the general school 
population. One-tenth of the street traders are in advanced grades 
as compared with one-fifth in the general school population. A 
comparison of the figures for the general school population of these 
cities with the group considered in this study yields the same gen- 
eral results as above. The retarded group is much larger among 
the street traders than in the general school population, and the 
advanced group is relatively smaller. 

Of these Connecticut children, then, two facts are established 
in this connection: one that they are street traders, the other that 
they are disproportionately behind in their school grades. Authori- 
ties on the subject have voiced the opinion that the employment 
of school children on the street competes with their school work, 
with disastrous consequences to the latter. The fact that so many 
unrelated studies carried on in widely separated localities have 
uniformly disclosed this high rate of retardation is sufficient evi- 
dence of the correctness of their conclusions. The phenomenon is 
too regular in its manifestations to leave room for doubt on this 
point. Unquestionably the same forces are at work and the same 
relationships exist in Connecticut as elsewhere. 

That the regular occurrence of this combination of factors is 
not a mere matter of coincidence may be otherwise demonstrated 
by an analysis of the findings of this study with respect to hours 
and earnings. A relationship between the facts of street trading 
on the one hand and of retardation on the other is definitely and 
incontrovertibly established. 

VI. School Work and Hours. 

While the retarded group of children constitutes only 33 per 
cent of the total number under consideration, they form 55 per cent 
of the group working six hours a day, 59 per cent of those working 
five hours a day, and 46 per cent of those working four hours a day. 
On the other hand, they are but 22 per cent of those who work 

100 The American Child 

only one hour a day. It is obvious, therefore, that the retarded 
children are largely identical with those who constitute the group 
devoting the greatest number of hours per day to work outside of 
school; and that they form the greater part of the group working 
more than three hours per day, although, as a whole, they form but 
one-third of the entire number of children tabulated. It should 
be noted, also, that the percentage increases for the retarded group 
as the number of hours increases, and conversely for the normal 
and advanced children the percentage increases. In other words, 
as the nimiber of hours per day of work on the streets increases, the 
retarded children tend to form a larger and larger part of the total. 

In fact, it can be demonstrated that as a group the retarded 
children are putting in longer hours of service than are the children 
whose school records show them to be in grades either normal or 
advanced for their ages. 

Examination of the tables develops the point made above that 
the retarded children as a group are devoting more time to work on 
the streets than are the children of normal or advanced school 
standing. These figures may be summarized thus: 

Of the normal and advanced group 63 per cent work two 
hours and less 

Of the normal and advanced group 37 per cent work three 
hours and more 

Of the normal and advanced group 16 pel* cent work four 
hours and morje 

Of the retarded group 44 per cent work two hours and 

Of the retarded group 32 per cent work four hours and 

In brief, the percentages show that the degree of retardation 
increases with the length of the working day of these children, and 
that among retarded children those habitually working the greater 
number of hours are further behind in their grade than those who 
work a lesser number of hours. 

VII. Hours and Earnings. 

When the matter of earnings is reviewed in the same way the 
same general facts appear. It is, of course, to be expected that 

Connecticut Study of Street Trades 101 

the children devoting the larger number of hours will show the 
greater earnings; and that also, as Hexter has shown in his Cin- 
cinnati study, the older boys are earning the larger sums. This is 
revealed to be the case in Connecticut. The retarded children con- 
stituting the older group are earning larger sums per day than are 
the younger children whose school standing is advanced or normal 
and who are devoting fewer hours per day to the work. 


Save for the fact of the presence of child laborers on the streets 
of Connecticut cities, little has hitherto been known concerning 
them. The foregoing study has attempted, under the limitations 
of the time and funds at the disposal of the Child Welfare Commis- 
sion, to establish some understanding of these children, and a few 
of the salient and more readily discoverable facts concerning them 
have been ascertained. Much remains to be accomplished in the 
study of Connecticut street traders before a complete program of 
remedial action may be resolved, for such a program must be based 
upon the fullest possible knowledge of the conditions and needs of 
these children. 

1. The extent of employment of children on the streets in 
this state is not known. In the grammar schools of four selected 
cities some 1,200 children reported to their teachers that they 
were so engaged outside of school hours. How many failed to 
report; how many high school children are employed on the 
streets; how many in the parochial schools; how many in the 
other cities of the state? No one knows; no one may safely 
venture a guess at the figure. 

2. More than this, nothing is known of their physical con- 
dition. Studies made in other locahties have demonstrated 
that many of the street trading boys are suffering from serious 
physical defects or organic disturbances. On the questionnaire 
used in Connecticut a question was included relative to the 
health of the children. The results were not tabulated for the 
reason that it was concluded that the judgment of casual ob- 
servers and lay persons could not be accepted as testimony on 
a matter so important as that of health. 

102 The American Child 

3. Moreover, the relations between street trading and 
juvenile delinquency has not been subject of inquiry in Con- 
necticut, although on this point also the results of studies in 
other communities have been most illimiinating and conclusive. 
The Connecticut questionnaire asked with respect to each 
child whether or not he had ever been arrested or was on pro- 
bation. The returns on these questions were not tabulated 
because in these matters also much room for doubt existed. 

4. At present, then, facts are not available upon which to 
base a case that will justify the abolition of street trading by 
Connecticut children. On the other hand, this study has 
demonstrated not only that some form of regulation of street 
trading by children is necessary, but has indicated also precisely 
what the nature of that regulation should be. The problem 
as it has herein presented itseK is very largelj'', if not entirely, 
educational in character. 

5. A considerable number of these street trading children 
are doing well in their school work, and a few are doing superior 
work — in spite of it. But another disproportionately large 
group of these street traders consists of children who are far 
behind their grade when compared with the general school pop- 

6. This retarded group of children is largely composed of 
those whose long hours of emplojrment outside of school with 
their relatively large earnings are detracting from the energy 
and interest which might otherwise be devoted to their more 
legitimate school work. 

7. It is evident that regulation of street trading in Con- 
necticut should aim at a reasonable control of the number of 
hours which school children shall be allowed to give to work 
on the streets. 

8. No sufficient reason has been found why these hours of 
employment outside the school should not be so limited as not 
to interfere in any serious measure with school work. Although 
it appears that most of these children are actually contributing 
of their earnings to the family budget, the contribution from 
their labors to the support of their famihes is usually unheces- 

Connecticut Study of Street Trades 103 

sary and, from the viewpoint of American standards of living, 
undesirable; and granted that this extra income is necessary 
to the family, even then the additional amounts earned by the 
extension of the hours of labor to the point of interference with 
school work is not sufficient to justify the sacrifice. 

9. The presence of retarded children in a class is always 
recognized as a handicap to the progress of the class as a whole; 
they are a chief source of anxiety and nervous strain for the 
teacher, and their presence in any considerable numbers in the 
schools is a distinct economic loss to the community. It is 
self-evident that the pupil who takes ten years or eleven years 
to accomplish work which ought to be done in eight or less, 
or who spend eight or ten years in covering ground that should 
be covered in six, and, probably the most serious count of all, 
leaves school but half educated, represents an unnecessarily 
large economic waste, and the community bears the expense. 

10. Three-fourths of these street trading children come from 
homes in which the parents are both foreign-born. The pubHc 
schools offer their one opportunity to come into intimate con- 
tact with the best that America has to offer: its language, its 
history, its standards, and its ideals. The interpretation of 
the land of their parents' adoption must come from outside the 
home — and this interpretation should not be that of the street. 
It is manifestly more important for these children to receive 
the fullest measure of the benefit from the education pubUcly 
provided than it is for any other single group in our schools 
today; and the group whose educational progress — on the 
basis of pubhc policy — should be interfered with the least, 
should cease to be a group whose educational life, through 
diversion by outside interests is compromised the most. To 
this problem the educational authorities of the state of Con- 
necticut should address themselves. 

The protection of childhood is costly. The standards we are willing to 
accept and carry forward are a test of democracy because they are a test of 
whether it is the popular will to pay the cost of what we agree is essential to 
the wise and safe bringing up of children. — Julia Lathrop. 




I assume that you would like to know three things about Boston: 
what the law regulating street trades is in Massachusetts, what 
machinery Boston has set up for its enforcement, and how the 
system is working. 

For the purposes of this discussion, the law can be briefly 
stated: The minimum age for participation in street trades is 12 
years for boys, and for girls 16 or 18, depending upon the size of 
the place. Boys under 16 must wear badges which are issued by 
the school authorities. They may not, of course, sell during school 
hours. The morning and evening hour limits for boys under 14 
are 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., and for boys 14 to 16, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
Enforcement is legally the duty of both attendance officers and 

Through Mr. Philip Davis's book ''Streetland'^ most of you are 
more or less famiUar with the background of the Boston system of 
enforcing this law. In an attempt to bring about more adequate 
supervision of this type of child labor the School Committee in 1906 
created the office of Supervisor of Licensed Minors. He was charged 
with the duty of licensing the boys and keeping constantly in touch 
with them through street inspections. Philip Davis was appointed 
to this position. He at once tried to win the cooperation of the 
boys, the keynote to my mind of any successful method of enforce- 
ment. It was not, however, until 1908, after Mr. Davis had become 
familiar with the Toledo Newsboys' Association, that the Boston 
Newsboys' Republic was organized. 

In each school where there were ten or more newsboys, a cap- 
tain and two lieutenants were elected. It was the duty of the 
captains to make a weekly street inspection of their districts and 

*Paper read at Seventeenth National Conference on Child Labor. 


Enforcement of the Street Trades Law in Boston 105 

to make a monthly inspection at the school to see that every boy 
had his own badge and to find out if any had been lost. These 
elected representatives also sat as a congress which met quarterly 
to discuss the conduct of the trade and to make regulations govern- 
ing it when this was necessary. Action taken was ratified at an 
annual convention held on June 17th. The Newsboys' Court or 
Trial Board was the outcome of the 1910 convention. It was set 
up in October of that year for the purpose of reducing the number 
of boys who came before the Juvenile Court. The Trial Board had 
five members, two adults appointed by the School Committee and 
three newsboys. This completed the machinery of self-government. 
What was vastly more important, however, was the spirit behind it. 
Through district and central meetings of a social or educational 
character, the supervisor won the friendship and confidence of many 
of the boys, and they began to realize the importance and dignity 
of their citizenship in the Newsboys' Republic. Supplementing the 
work of the Republic was a Newsboys' Club, where varying social 
activities were carried on. 

You notice I have been using the past tense, because the News- 
boys' Republic of today in Boston is only a ghost of its former self. 
Captains and members of the Trial Board are still elected annually, 
but apart from that action, the Republic as a whole does not func- 
tion. It has seemed unwise to the present Supervisor to encourage 
the captains to make street inspections of their districts. They do, 
however, assist the Supervisor when he comes to their school to talk 
to the newsboys of the district. Neither the congress nor the 
annual convention meet now. The Newsboys' Club has recently 

The Trial Board, however, still sits regularly every Thursday 
evening. There is only one adult judge now and he acts as chief 
justice. The boys serve as interpreters. Because of the limitation 
of time, their advice in regard to the disposition of cases is not 
asked as often as one might wish. The Supervisor acts as prosecut- 
ing officer. One of the parents is required to appear with each child. 
Most of the 495 cases heard in 1921 were dismissed with a warning, 
but a number were placed on probation and the child required to 
appear before the Board each week. If a teacher has complained 
of a boy, he is asked to bring his school record with him. Only 
two cases were taken to the Juvenile Court. To date, there have 

106 The American Child 

been six cases during the current year. One was a distributor who 
furnished an unHcensed boy with papers. 

How well is the law being enforced today? As I have said 
above, the boy captains are no longer asked to make street inspec- 
tions, so this is done ahnost entirely by the Supervisor himself with 
only spasmodic assistance from the police.* It is an impossible 
task for one man to maintain strict enforcement single-handed. 
The boys know him too well and give warning up and down the 
Hne as soon as he comes in sight. The Supervisor has succeeded 
for the most part, however, in keeping under-aged boys from en- 
gaging in street trades, although violations do occur, especially dur- 
ing vacation times. The provision requiring boys to wear badges 
seems to be the most difficult to enforce. A recent street canvass 
in the busiest districts of the city showed that less than half had 
badges in evidence. Late selhng at night is not very common, 
although a number of children can almost always be found on the 
streets after the evening hour limit. As a whole the law can be said 
to be only fairly well enforced in Boston. There is certainly room 
for improvement. 

Methods of administering street trades laws must be adapted 
to the needs and resources of each community. What is essential, 
however, in my estimation, is an enforcing official with personality 
— a man who can lead boys and awaken their sense of responsibihty 
instead of relying solely upon coercion. 

* At one time a special police oflBcer rendered valuable service in the en- 
forcement of this law, but no such officer exists at the present time. 



For a number of years Alabama has been concerning itself with 
factory children and children engaged in various other kinds of 
work under bona fide employers in an attempt to give them an 
opportunity for some measure of education and also protection for 
their growing bodies, but it was not until about two years ago that 
we started an honest-to-goodness effort to extend this protection to 
the child laborer of the streets who has no employer except the 
pubhc, which is much too absorbed in the larger affairs of the day 
to ponder very seriously upon its responsibility for the fate of the 
impressionable mites of humanity who are growing daily more pre- 
cocious with the unhealthy wisdom of the streets. 

The Alabama child labor law passed in 1915 contained a clause 
restricting the age of boys selling papers to 12 years and boys 
engaged in distributing papers to 10 years of age, and prohibiting 
street work for girls under 18. This law also made it necessary 
for boys to obtain a badge (his license) before they were able to 
qualify for this work, but a boy, when he had once secured the 
required badge, could sell at any and all hours of the day between 
5 o'clock in the morning and 8 o'clock at night. I personally have 
known principals of schools, who, upon being notified by the news- 
papers that an extra edition was coming out, dismissed the news- 
boys to participate in the sale. The original act required that a 
boy should be a regular attendant at school and his record satisfac- 
tory before he could obtain a badge. But this new law prohibits 
the employment of a child under 14 years of age in any occupation 
whatsoever during the hours when the public schools of the district 
in which he resides are in session. The boy who formerly obtained 
his badge and sold during school hours, or who attended school 
irregularly, now, under the new legislation, forfeits his badge. 

*Paper read at Seventeenth National Conference on Child Labor. 


108 The American Child 

The state child labor inspectors are too few and their inspec- 
tions much too infrequent, to enforce this section of the law, but 
in the cities and counties where there are school attendance officers, 
the enforcement is mainly done by them under the direction of the 
state inspectors. 

As a beginning of our new efforts to tighten up on street trades 
two years ago, we conducted three studies of hours, earnings and 
behavior of boys engaged in selling and distributing papers in three 
Alabama cities — Anniston, Mobile, and Montgomery. Last year, 
a second study was made of Mobile and a study was also conducted 
in Birmingham, the largest city in the state. The purpose of these 
studies was to determine whether the boys engaged in street trades 
were attending school regularly, and the effect of several hours of daily 
contact with the street upon the school work and the morals of the 
boys thus engaged. 

One of these studies showed that 46 per cent of the boys wasted 
their earnings in gambling, picture shows, soft drinks, candy, and 
wiener sandwiches. This left a little over 50 per cent who spent 
their earnings for anything necessary or useful. As a consequence 
of street work less than 50 per cent of these boys received promo- 
tions at the end of the school year. In Mobile, 66 per cent of the 
boys working at street trading contributed nothing to the family 
coffers, but wasted their entire earnings much in the same manner 
as the boys had done in the first city studied. The result in this 
city was that nearly 75 per cent of the boys were graded below 
average in school, both in conduct and in scholarship. This meant 
that the number of boys in street trades in each of these cities who 
were wasting their earnings was running in the same proportion 
with the number of newsboys who were failing in their school work. 
In other words, school was running in competition with the excite- 
ment and dissipation of the street work with its late hours, little 
recreation, and its spirit of thriftlessness. The school was unable 
to cope with its rival in the case of from 55 per cent to 65 per cent 
of the boys, therefore, it was costing Alabama twice as much to 
educate, or rather, try to educate, these boys who must spend at 
least two years in a grade, not to mention the later cost to the state 
in losing this number of citizens who would not be properly trained 
or morally equipped to be independent and useful. A large per- 
centage of the boys who were doing good work at school, despite 

Street Trades in Alabama 109 

the street work, represented the naturally thrifty and industrious 
who usually came from the better homes and who had had a fair 
start at an education before they began street work. 

It was found that the boys would congregate about the news- 
paper office for an hour or so before the papers came off the press, 
in order that they might be the first on the street. While waiting, 
they would pass the time matching pennies, rolling dice, fighting, 
using foul and profane language, and creating bedlam in general. 
The force about the distributing rooms usually encouraged the 
boys in their uproar by teasing them. When one boy was questioned 
as to how he spent his time while waiting for his papers, he replied : 
''We play in the basement but we have a fight most every day. 
Yesterday some of us boys bet Hugh that he could whip Gerald 
and we had the best time." "Did he whip him?" the inspector 
asked. ''Not yet," the boy answered, "but they are going to finish 
this evening. Hugh had better whip him though or I am going 
to lose some money." "What did Mr. X., the man who gives out 
the papers, say about the fight?" asked the inspector. "Ohj he 
don't care," said the boy, "he said that he hoped Hugh would whip 
Gerald because he needed a good beating." 

In one city it was found that the boys made only one cent on 
each paper sold. But the manager with great pride told the in- 
spector that the boys could make much more than one cent if they 
were clever enough, because many customers would not ask for 
their change if the boy was alert or appealing, and others would 
not wait for their change if the boys would not be too hasty in 
making it. In other words, he was encouraging his boys not to 
make change unless asked for it and to appeal for tips to swell their 

After the study was completed and a copy sent to the circula- 
tion manager, the inspectors started a campaign to better the con- 
ditions by enhsting the school attendance officer to keep close tab 
on the school attendance of the boys, and when they were not in 
regular attendance at school, to revoke the badges and notify the 
newspaper accordingly. The newspaper man, fearing that the 
result of the study was going to be made pubhc and injure his paper, 
immediately took steps to assume some responsibiUty for the be- 
havior of the boys about his estabUshment. The result was that 
the next year, when a similar study was conducted, it was found 

110 The American Child 

that whereas 65 per cent of the boys had failed at school the year 
before, the number had decreased to more than half, or to 30 per 
cent, and 50 per cent of all boys in street trades were doing school 
work equal to the average of their class. 

In the distributing room where chaos and uproar once reigned, 
the manager now provides games such as checkers, dominoes, jacks, 
etc., and the boys must obey certain rules of behavior and use no 
vulgar or profane language. For a violation of these rules of order 
they are fined from 10 cents up, according to the nature of the 
offense. A bonus system for regular selling has been instituted, 
and the fines are usually deducted from the bonus at the end of the 
week. Instead of fighting and strugghng, as formerly, for the first 
place to receive the papers, the boys now take a number as they 
enter the room, and when the papers are ready for distribution, they 
assemble in line according to these numbers and receive their papers 
in a business-hke and orderly manner. 

Last year a study was conducted in Birmingham, Alabama's 
largest city, and 143 boys were studied, 107 of whom were street 
sellers, and the remaining 36 newspaper carriers who worked in the 
residence section only. 

It was found that the boys engaged in street seUing made about 
an average of $6.50 a week and 30 per cent of the boys spent all 
their earnings for themselves, only 20 per cent having any savings 
accounts. Most of these accounts were merely a Christmas sav- 
ings fund or else savings to buy a bicycle, or some such article which 
the boy desired. Forty-seven per cent were contributing none of 
their earnings to the family incomes. The boys who were engaged 
in delivering papers made an average of $2.00 a week, and 44 per 
cent of the boys used all for spending money alone, only 14 per 
cent giving any of their earm'ngs to their parents. When the school 
records were examined, 35 per cent of the sellers were found to be 
retarded, and although eight weeks of the school term remained at 
the time the study was made, the teachers estimated that at least 
33 per cent of all the 143 boys studied would have to repeat their 
grades next year. It was learned, also, that almost without excep- 
tion, the boys who were failing in their studies were those who had 
engaged in street work for the longest period of time. And while 
the teachers estimated that 67 per cent of the boys would pass 
their grades, they also estimated that only 29 per cent of all the boys 

Street Trades in Alabama 111 

studied were doing work equal to, or above, the average for their 
classes. The school attendance of the boys was good, running 94 
per cent good for the boys engaged in distribution, and 82 per cent 
good for the boys selhng. This was a result of a vigorously enforced 
school attendance program in Birmingham and also due to the fact 
that a boy's badge is revoked unless he attends school regularly. 
Absences are followed up by the school attendance officer who issues 
the badges, and it is not infrequent that the badges are revoked by 
the attendance officer because of irregular school attendance. About 
30 per cent of the boys doing street trading in Birmingham were 
found to come from broken homes, and the mothers of 23 per cent 
of the number were found to be engaged in some kind of work out- 
side the home each day. This meant that one out of every four 
boys was left to his own resources from the time he left school until 
he returned home late at night. Twenty-eight per cent of the boys 
smoked, 10 per cent were habitual gamblers, 14 per cent frequently 
played truant, 12 per cent were known to be troublesome on the 
street, and 6 per cent had been caught stealing articles. A few of 
the boys coming from homes of especially poor environment were 
found to stay out all night, sometimes sleeping on the floors of the 
distribution room of the newspaper establishments, in nearby garages, 
or such sheltered places. The consequence was that eight per cent 
had been before the Juvenile Court. This number does not include 
those former newsboys who were then inmates of the Parental Home 
or the State Training School for Boys. Seventy-five per cent of 
the boys with Juvenile Court records had been selling papers for 
more than two years. Four of the boys had been before the court 
on three different occasions and two had been previously conmiitted 
to the Training School for Boys, and later dismissed. 

Fifty-seven per cent of these boys lived in the downtown sec- 
tions and spent all their time after school on the streets, thus hav- 
ing no time or opportunity for play or recreation. When we stop 
to consider this condition, we are really astonished that more of 
the boys thus cut off from the normal activities of child life do not 
succumb to the evils of the street. 

An interesting fact in connection with the studies of street 
trades made in Alabama, and the enforcement of the law pertain- 
ing thereto, is that the large dailies, instead of becoming antagonistic 
to the department, rallied to its cause promptly, and made appar- 

112 The American Child 

ently very sincere efforts to better conditions. This has already 
been indicated in the report of the Mobile study where the manager 
of the Mobile Register , after our study, immediately set up certain 
rules and regulations promoting better standards which are still, 
more than two years later, in effect. On one occasion, friends in 
Louisiana who were trying to secure the passage of a child labor 
law applying to street trades, wired the Director of the State Child 
Welfare Department of Alabama, asking that she send the chair- 
man of the House Committee having the Louisiana bill in charge, 
a telegram commending the advantages of the law in Alabama. 
Realizing that her opinion would have little weight with a legisla- 
ture, the director, instead of sending telegrams over her own sig- 
nature, called up the managers of all the big dailies in Alabama and 
assuring them that she would take care of all expenses, asked them 
to send the chairman of the committee at Baton Rouge a telegram, 
stating exactly their feelings about the child labor law. She urged 
them to be frank, whether their opinions were favorable or not. 
With only one exception, every big daily in Alabama forwarded at 
its own expense day-letters commending the street trades clause of 
the Alabama child labor law. The circulation manager of the Bir- 
mingham News said to the Louisiana Legislature,'' If Alabama had 
had this law 20 years ago she would not have to concern herself so 
much today about illiteracy and other evils. '^ 

The difficulty of enforcement is greater in the smaller towns, 
where big dailies are controlled by unscrupulous agents, than in 
larger cities where pleasant and profitable contacts can be made 
with the managers themselves. We have just succeeded in having 
a form letter written by the circulation manager of the largest daily 
in Alabama to his agents, advising them that if the Department of 
Child Welfare continues to find non-observance of the law on the 
part of the agents they would be expected to resign. This sort of 
cooperation is very new and unique in Alabama. 

Every year there are nearly 1,000 boys under 16 years of 
age in Alabama who take out licenses for street trades. This 
means that unless we work diligently, according to the statistics 
obtained from our studies, more than 500 boys will fail yearly in 
their school work because of street trades, to say nothing of their 
being exposed to the many hazards with which they are in daily 

Street Trades in Alabama ' 113 

The time will probably come when every American city will 
aboHsh street trading by children. But until such a time does 
come, we must work zealously and earnestly to check its abuses 
by perfecting the Hcense system and by amplifying plans for closer 
supervision, with self-governm.ent as a basis for such supervision. 

Children deprived of play-life are robbed of their childhood — and the world 
can never repay what has been lost, even though it may try, in an agony of 
repentance, to compensate these children — for in this respect, there is no for- 
giveness of sin. Thousands of undeveloped children work in agricultural and 
street trades, factories and tenements, denied schooUng and playtime, and are 
worn in body and mind. — Royal Neighbor, Rock Island, Illinois. 

Children, finishing the eighth or ninth grades, are too young to make the 
most of themselves in they leave school They may enter industry, but, not 
knowing what they want to do, they will drift along for a number of years, 
forming habits of idleness and instabiUty, which are costly to the community 
and harmful to the children. — Frank Cody, Superintendent, Detroit Public Schools. 



A report on street trades in Chicago must be one that concerns 
itself with the things that ought to be done rather than those which 
are actually accomplished. The chaotic condition of political affairs 
throughout the state reaches down to all ages and grades and touches 
the small boy selling newspapers as surely as it does the governor. 
Plans for a new street trades ordinance have been given up because 
of the general impasse. 

There is no state law on street trades in Illinois. The situa- 
tion in Chicago where the greatest activity in street selling shows 
itself is disposed of by an ordinance enacted in 1912. The pro- 
visions of this ordinance are as follows: 

No girl under 18 may at any time sell anything on the 
streets or in public places. 

Boys under 14 may pursue any of the occupations enu- 
merated after 5 o'clock in the morning and before 8 o'clock at 

Between the ages of 14 and 16 a boy who has on his per- 
son an age and school certificate may sell all night if he so 

The ordinance further provides that the police officer who finds 
violations must inform his superior officer, who in turn must cause 
a letter of warning to be written to the boy's parents informing 
them of the nature of the violation. A second offense permits 
prosecution and the fine may not be more than one hundred dollars. 
The most serious difficulty in the way of strict enforcement is lack 
of cooperation on the part of the police. 

Two obvious defects of this ordinance are that it sets no mini- 
mum age and that the clause, permitting a boy of 14 to sell at any 
hour of the day or night if he has a school certificate on his person. 

*Abstract of paper read at Seventeenth National Conference on Child Labor. 


Street Trades in Chicago II5 

is out of date. The Certificating Bureau of the Board of Educa- 
tion no longer issues work certificates to boys but handles them 
through the employers. 

The portion of the ordinance satisfactorily enforced is the para- 
graph which prohibits street selHng by girls under 18. Girls are 
occasionally found selling papers or gum, but the practice is rarely 
persisted in after the first warning. The Chicago Daily News, 
which practically controls the conduct of the news-stands during 
the day, gives us very effective help in enforcing this part of the 

But for the violations of the ordinance by boys under 16 years 
of age there is no such clear-cut remedy. Although Mr. Wrigley 
is beginning to make gum-seUing a part of the street trades prob- 
lem, the selling of newspapers with the vast proportion of compe- 
tition, of stimulating the public to buy, and of making it possible 
to purchase at every step without interfering with the regular pur- 
suit of business, makes the newsboy the central figure of interest in 
street trades. One package of gum will last an ordinary individual 
for a day. One shoe shine per day would seem to be all that the 
average man needs, but the number of newspapers consumed by 
an individual appears to be measured only by the capacity of the 
newspaper to get out new editions. 

The problem of day selling resolves itself into an effort to keep 
boys under 10 from selling at the news-stands and on the streets. 
The minimum age is not found in the ordinance but in a paragraph 
of the state dependency law, which includes street selhng in a defini- 
tion of a dependent child under 10. The difficulties of this problem 
may be suggested by the fact that the majority of news-stands are 
owned by Italians, and that apparently every Italian family that 
has a boy usually attempts to have him sell papers or black boots 
from the time he begins to go to school at six or seven years of age. 
These cases are controlled only in the more crowded districts and 
wherever the use of small children is perfectly obvious. That the 
law is not enforced throughout the city is beyond doubt, although 
the Daily News makes some effort to control this situation also. 

Night selling, with its lure to boys already inclined to delin- 
quency, is the worst problem that has to be faced. The news- 
stands are owned by the men who sell day papers. The night 
papers are sold by a different group, who use some of the same 

116 The American Child 

stands and make them serve as a distributing center for the wagons. 
The men on the stands at night are often known only by nick- 
names — Shorty, Red Jake, or Speck. The work of seUing has to 
be carried on somewhat differently from day selling. The purchas- 
ing groups are found in different places and are more widely scat- 
tered. Sometimes whole areas profitable for day selling are not at 
all profitable for night work. The men usually secure the services 
of a group of boys, who, according to the law, should be 16 years 
of age or have secured their work certificates. These boys usually 
sell on a commission basis, or 50 cents per hundred. A typical 
group of this sort was found in one district. Two or three nights 
in succession at 11 and 12 o'clock at night, six boys were found 
within a radius of three or four blocks from a certain stand selling 
papers. These boys were all under 14 years of age. Investigation 
showed all of them to have either delinquency or truancy records 
and bad home conditions; one was subnormal. After the first 
night we were never able to get in contact with the man for whom 
they worked. None of them knew him by any name but Shorty. 
A letter sent to the name and address he gave on the first night of 
the investigation was returned for better address. Men of this 
type may be found at any profitable corner after 10 o'clock at night. 
Policemen pass on their regular beats. Boys as young as eight may 
be selhng at midnight week after week, but unless that boy's name 
and address and place of selling are sent to the precinct office, the 
lad will never be interfered with. It is illustrative of this situation 
that a boy of eight reported to be selling until 1 a.m. every night at 
a certain stand proved to be the son of a policeman. 

In 1916 the news alley situation was investigated by the Ju- 
venile Protective Association. Demorahzing conditions were found 
involving very young boys, many of whom slept in the alleys and 
were in contact with the most degraded types of men. The result 
of the survey was the promise of cooperation from certain of the 
newspapers and an order to exclude from the alleys boys under 16 
in the future. 

During the winter just past, the fever of competition among the 
newspapers resulted in the establishment of lotteries. Hundreds 
of thousands of dollars were advertised to be given away to the 
holders of lucky numbers, and the tremendous increase in circulation 
that resulted broke down all the restraint in the use of carriers. 

Street Trades in Chicago 117 

The public must be satisfied with newspapers and lottery tickets. 
Papers were piled on the street corners in mountainous heaps and 
the streets swarmed with boys of all ages selling until one o'clock 
in the morning. An appeal was made to the Chief of PoHce for 
the enforcement of the street trades ordinance. Before the lot- 
teries had ceased to function, the poHce made a vigorous effort to 
get the boys off the streets, but unless the attention of the Chief 
had been called to the situation it is very Ukely that no policeman 
in the city would have considered it his duty to interfere with the 
business of distributing newspapers and lottery tickets. At this 
time the boys found their way again to the news alleys where news- 
papers were again distributed to them. 

The attitude of the men in charge of the circulation department 
is illustrated by a night investigation. This newspaper was pub- 
lishing an edition that came from the delivery room at 8 o'clock. 
The street trades ordinance says that no boy under 16 without a 
ceetificate may sell after 8 o'clock. On the night in question, 11 
boys started into the newspaper alleys just before 8 o'clock. Be- 
hind them, through the swinging doors, walked two officers of the 
Juvenile Protective Association. They followed the boys through 
the room from which papers are distributed to the wagons. The 
manager of that room was about to put into the arms of the first 
boy a bundle of papers, when he happened to see the officers. He 
snatched the papers from the boy and said to the group of pros- 
pective purchasers, ''It's against the law for you boys to get papers 
here. Get out." The oldest boy in the group was 12 and the 
youngest 7 years. They had been purchasing their papers from 
the alleys for two months. They all came from one neighborhood; 
all attended one school and were there to help an 11-year old boy 
who had an estabUshed afternoon paper route with his older brother. 

How many newsboys are employed in Chicago, what are their 
general living conditions, how their occupation affects their school 
work, and how the question is related to dehnquency, we have no 
adequate way of knowing. A tentative plan was outhned by the 
Juvenile Protective Association this year for a new street trades 
ordinance that should set a minimum age for day seUing, fix a mini- 
mum age for night selling at 16, and establish a hcensing system to 
be handled through the Board of Education. The Superintendent 
of Schools, Mr. Mortenson, and Miss Anne Davis, head of the 

118 The American Child 

Vocational Guidance Bureau, were very willing to cooperate in 
securing such an ordinance and to undertake the issuing of licenses 
or permits. This plan had to be given up until the present political 
crisis involving the Board of Education is over. 

A survey of seven schools, made by the Vocational Guidance 
Bureau, in regard to after-school occupations, has given us the 
first glimpse of the actual situation in regard to street trades from 
the school point of view. Of the 123 boys who stated that they 
were occupied after school in street trades, 74 were newsboys, 44 
bootblacks, three peddlers of gum, one top seller, and one a distrib- 
utor of hand-bills. Of these, 89 were Italians, 9 Polish, 8 Jewish, 
5 German, and 3 Bohemian. The balance of 9 was divided among 
8 different nationalities. 

The basis of employment of the 74 newsboys was as follows : 6 sold 
on commission, 8 could not tell the basis of arrangement, 10 were 
employed by near relatives at a stated wage, 14 were selling for 
themselves on a purchase and sale basis, and 36 were employed at 
a stated wage by stand owners not related. None of these were 
certificated for work. 

The grades in school included everything from the second grade 
to high eighth. Rank in school was as follows: 33 were in the first 
rank in grade, 45 in the middle rank, 30 in the third, 13 were marked 
failure, and only 1 was classified as subnormal. This is significant 
from the point of view of fairly efficient school work being carried 
on with an after-school occupation. The lack of subnormality is 
also noteworthy, especially when compared to the number of sub- 
normal children found begging on the market streets. 

Out of the whole number of boys occupied in street trades 
(123), 104 boys stated that the money earned was given to the 
mother to spend; only 16 reported the use of any part of their 
earnings by themselves, and only 13 stated that the money was 

One of the most interesting situations disclosed by the infor- 
mation gained was in regard to the amount of time spent in street 
selling, the amount of money earned, and the methods of business 
contract. The deductions from this portion of the survey have 
not been completed, but it is quite obvious that the boys who are 
paid a stated wage and work at a stand owned by a man not a rela- 
tive are the most satisfactorily paid. 

Street Trades in Chicago 119 

The street trades ordinance is based upon the proposition that 
a boy is seUing for himself. The statistics just given show a much 
greater proportion regularly employed at a stated wage. For 
years the State Factory Department, sustained by the Attorney 
General, refused to consider this employment as a violation of the 
child labor law. Under the present administration of the Depart- 
ment of Labor a deputy factory inspector has been assigned to the 
Vocational Guidance Bureau and a Department of Industrial Studies 
estabhshed. A report from this new Department indicates the close 
cooperation and extended interpretations of law given by the De- 
partment of Labor. 

Both the Employment Certificate Department of the Board of 
Education and the State Factory Department are attempting to 
give the widest meaning possible to the state child labor law. In 
doing this, they are including occupations which might be con- 
sidered as coming under the city ordinance on street trades. As 
the standards of the child labor law are much higher than those of 
the city ordinance, the Department feels that it is improving the 
situation by having the state law encroach upon the territory as far 
as possible. With the child labor law operating in all cases where 
a boy is actually employed at a stated wage — an arrangement which 
has always proved to be the safest and best for the children con- 
cerned — it will only remain to control the free-lancers, who are 
rapidly decreasing in number. This progressive attitude on the 
part of the State Factory Department and the Board of Education 
will greatly simplify the street trades situation. 

The most crying need is that of a clear-cut limitation on night 
selling and a stringent enforcement of it. The Juvenile Protective 
Association is accumulating information on the demoralizing effects 
of night selling that should be of potent value in securing better 
enforcement of the present ordinance, and in breaking down all 
opposition to a definite age limit of 16 for night work. 

The world is moving in a way to show increasing solicitude for the welfare 
of children. Scholarship, as well as sympathy; insight into the future, as well 
as understanding of the present; respect for the natural and divine rights of 
childhood, rather than for worn-out social philosophy and fallacious property 
rights; these are conspicuous in the drift of the world ioda.y .—Reverend William 
J. Kerby, Secretary, National Conference of Catholic Charities. 



The Pennsylvania Child Labor Law of 1915 provides that: 

"No male minor under twelve years of age, and no female minor, 
shall distribute, sell, expose, or offer for sale any newspaper, magazine, 
periodical, or other publication, or any article of merchandise of any sort, 
in any street or public place. No male minor under fourteen years of 
age, and no female minor, shall be suffered, employed, or permitted to 
work at any time as a scavenger, bootblack, or in any other trade or 
occupation performed in any street or public place. No male minor under 
sixteen years of age, and no female minor, shall engage in any occupation 
mentioned in this section before six o'clock in the morning, or after eight 
o'clock in the evening, of any day." 

The enforcement of the act is made the duty of the police, the 
inspectors of the Department of Labor and Industry and the attend- 
ance officers of the public schools. Between these three agencies 
the enforcement of the street trades section goes by default. It is 
the old story of divided responsibility, plus the constant menace of 
a powerful newspaper influence that is opposed to enforcement. 

Other sections of the law are pretty well enforced by these same 
agencies, and the reason for the utter breakdown of the street trades 
section is doubtless the fact that the newspapers are the worst 
offenders and possess enormous political power. All enforcement 
officers and their superiors know what will happen if they do any- 
thing to interfere with the convenience or profit of the publishers. 
Efforts to secure enforcement are met by violent opposition on the 
part of three-fourths of the newspapers, and with rare exceptions 
the other fourth give no active support. 

The repeated studies made by our association have produced 
information not unlike many others made in almost every part of 
the country by many different agencies. 

Children of tender years are on the street at all hours of the 
night and day, many of them contributing nothing to their own 

*Paper read at Seventeenth National Conference on Child Labor. 


Street Trades in Pennsylvania 121 

support, but using their earnings in attendance at shows, in gam- 
bhng, and in gratification of various tastes and desires. Begging 
is common, the papers being used merely as a cover. Most 
people who are inclined to look with tolerance upon the evil give 
the matter but little thought, and make no distinction between 
legal and illegal selling. 

But a small percentage of the children violating the law are 
forced by economic necessity to do so. 

A very large percentage have a record of poor school attend- 
ance, retardation, and various forms of dehnquency. At first 
thought the obvious conclusion is that street trades should be con- 
trolled by the police, because the police are everywhere and have 
ample authority. 

Long-continued study and careful analysis of the matter has 
convinced us that it is not a police job, for these reasons: 

The business of the police is to look after the safety of citizens. 
They deal with adult law-breakers and criminals. They have 
neither the intelligence nor the point of view required for this task. 
A proper handling of street trade violations reaches into the home 
and sometimes into the school, where the officer on the beat cannot 
go. Finally — the police will not do it. 

Almost the same reasons apply against reliance upon the in- 
spectors of the State Labor Department for the performance of 
this duty. 

Every one of these considerations points to the school depart- 
ment as the proper agency to deal with this problem. It has the 
intelligence, the point of view, the necessary organization, and 
many contacts with the child through the school and the home. 

Acting in accordance with this behef, the Pubhc Education 
and Child Labor Association of Pennsylvania prepared and pro- 
moted in the legislature of 1921 a bill fixing responsibility for en- 
forcement of the street trades section directly upon school authori- 

It provided as follows: 

"In every school district of the first, second or third class, authority 

for the enforcement of section seven of this act shall be vested also in the 

board of school directors thereof. In every such school district, the board 

of school directors shall employ attendance officers sufficient in number to 

enforce thoroughly the provisions of said section. Said board of school 

directors may make such regulations and adopt such plans as it may deem 

122 The American Child 

wise or necessary for properly carrying out the provisions of said section, 
subject to the approval in writing of the State Superintendent of Public 

"In case of failure of the board of school directors of any such school 
district to properly enforce said section seven, it shall be the duty of the 
Superintendent of Public Instruction to withhold any order for such dis- 
trict's share of the state appropriation until such failure has been cor- 

This bill advanced smoothly to third reading in the House of 
Representatives, when the newspaper men discovered it, got it 
referred back to the committee that had reported it out, and secured 
a hearing at which the papers were represented by a large delega- 
tion whose chief spokesman was a prominent attorney who had 
been retained by them. The representative of one Harrisburg 
paper appeared in behalf of the bill. 

The usual specious arguments were offered, namely : ''that the 
enforcement of the law would work a hardship on poor families and 
that paper-selling was a school of business for the youngsters." 

It was evident that the hearing was intended largely as a matter 
of form, for the newspaper association brought its influence to bear 
upon the political leaders of the dominant party. Word was passed 
out to kill the bill, and it never afterwards emerged from committee. 

Then a movement was begun to persuade school boards vol- 
untarily to assume the responsibility (they already had the author- 
ity) of enforcing the street trades section. Up to the present time, 
the Philadelphia School Board is the only one which has comphed. 
It has detailed two attendance oflScers, under direction of Mr. Henry 
J. Gideon, Chief of the Bureau of Attendance, on full time, to handle 
the problem. Their eflFort thus far has been directed at the evil 
of night selling, by boys under 16 years of age after 8 p.m. While 
they have ample authority to take violators into custody, they find it 
best to adopt other methods at first. Their procedure is as follows: 

When a child under legal age is first picked up, the child is 
warned, his name and residence are taken and next morning his 
parents are visited and warned. Seventy-five per cent of the parents 
are ignorant of the law, although before this plan was put in opera- 
tion a printed copy of the law was given to each child in school to 
be taken home to his parents. 

On second offense the child and his parents are summoned to 
the school attendance oflBce and there reprimanded. 

Street Trades in Pennsylvania 123 

On third offense, if it appears to be the parent's fault, he is 
summoned to the magistrate's court and given a suspended sen- 
tence. If the parent seems to have the right attitude, but is unable 
to control the child, both parent and child are summoned to the 
House of Detention, where a formal hearing is held and both child 
and parent warned of the consequence of another violation. 

In the four months that have elapsed since the inauguration of 
this plan there has not been a fourth offense. When a fourth case 
occurs, the suspended sentence will be enforced and the penalty- 
increased, if the fault is the parent's. If the child is beyond the 
parent's control, he will be sent to an institution. 

As the work progresses, it is planned that j&rst offenses shall be 
reported to the regular school attendance officer working in the field 
where the child lives, and that officer will make the home visitation. 
In most cases he will know the child, the parents, and the child's 

While this work has been going on for only four months, very 
slowly and cautiously certain results are apparent. 

While at first each officer found an average of fifteen violations 
in a night's work, he now finds only five or six, mostly new cases. 

This is largely due to the plan whereby the "corners" are assigned 
to boys by the various circulation managers of the newspapers. 
When a boy has been picked up, the manager assigns a new boy to 
his corner. Better cooperation of the circulation managers is 
hoped for in future. 

While it is easier to estabhsh a case against the night work as 
dangerous to health and morals, yet the larger problem is that of 
afternoon selling. By far the greater numbers are employed then, 
and more violations of the law occur. It is against any curtailment 
of either legal or illegal selling in the afternoon that newspaper oppo- 
sition is strongest. 

We are hoping that when the illegal night work is well under 
control the Philadelphia Board of Education may be persuaded to 
authorize its attendance officers to attack the afternoon and morn- 
ing problem. 

Already the attendance officers assigned to this work have found 
the need and the means of a very helpful social work. Where child- 
ren violating the law come from^homes of manifest economic need, 
the^officers have sometimes been able to put them in touch with 

124 The American Child 

social agencies which have helped them to better self-support. 
Sometimes the officers have been able to connect the children with 
positions where they could earn money legally. One fifteen-year- 
old boy was putting himself through high school by illegal paper 
selling at night. The circulation manager who employed him was 
notified and promised to find other employment for the boy by 
which he could earn his support without breaking the law. 

The attendance officers have arranged with the state employ- 
ment office to send unemployed men to the circulation managers to 
replace boys selling illegally. One circulation manager promised to 
take all men that were sent. 

During March, April and May, 418 violations were found, 176 
cases were investigated at the schools attended, and 311 at the homes; 
108 hearings were held at the attendance office and five cases were 
taken into court. 

Our field worker is now out among the second and third class 
cities of the state in an effort to induce the school authorities of those 
cities to follow the lead of the Philadelphia Board in assuming re- 
sponsibility for the control of street trades and to go farther than 
the Philadelphia Board has gone. 

Most school superintendents are in sympathy with the plan and 
in a few instances the attendance officers have done a little on their 
own responsibility. One superintendent assured our worker that 
there was no street trade problem in his city, and that if she found 
a case of law violation and would report it to him, he would attend 
to it forthwith. Within a very few hours she found a girl of 13 and 
her brother of 11 working for a man named Wilson, from 6 to 9 p.m. 
She also found and reported three boys aged 7, 9, and 10, selling 
in the afternoon. His response was as follows: "By putting your 
letter in the hands of the truant officer, he declares that it is legal 
for the children to work these hours. I am happy to hear that 
this is all you have found wrong in B." A further letter from our 
worker explaining to the superintendent the incorrectness of his 
attendance officer's information met no response. Fortunately this 
superintendent is the exception rather than the rule. 

A study of the street trades made recently in Pittsburgh brought 
out the following facts: 

Fifty-three per cent of the newsboys of the city aje vio- 
lating the law. 

Street Trades in Pennsylvania 125 

Boys of two and three years of age are selling papers. 
(The youngest newsboys our own workers in the state have 
found were four years old.) 

Nearly 75 per cent of the boys are retarded one or more 
years at school. 

Eighty per cent come from normal homes, the father living 
and supporting the family. 

Only one-sixth of the boys contribute anything to the 
support of the home. Their money goes to the movies, is lost 
in crap games, or is spent for candy and ice cream. 

The average hourly earnings are about four cents. 

Of 1200 newsboys, 197 boys under 14 years of age were 
selhng after 8 p.m. The law says that no boy under 16 may 
sell after 8 p.m. 

100 boys under 12 were selling after 8 p.m. 

772 boys, 65 per cent of the cases, studied, began to sell 
before they were 12 years old. 

The Rochester Reform School draws 75 per cent of its in- 
mates from the newsboy ranks; Hart's Island (New York City) 
63 per cent; Glen Mills (Philadelphia), 77 per cent; Cincinnati 
28 per cent; Thornhill (Pittsburgh) 66 per cent. 

Thirteen per cent of the cases studied admitted that they 
gambled and ten per cent admitted that they smoked. 

Five per cent of the boys received major bodily injuries in 
the streets in one year. In many cases these injuries were very 
expensive for the parents. 

"The newspaper authorities themselves stimulate boys to 
become 'newsies.' The more boys they have the more papers 
they can sell." 

Fifty-six per cent of the Pittsburgh newsboys have foreign- 
born parents. 

The whole situation in Pennsylvania may be summarized in a 
brief statement, as follows: 

The street trade evil in Pennsylvania has the same characteris- 
tics that it has in every other state, with no real attempt on the 
part of any responsible authority to check or control it except in 
rare instances. The prevailing urban population intensifies the evil 
and increases the problem. 

^^J^ mm:^ 



If I should be asked to draft a model street trades law, good for 
any and all states, I would decline with thanks. It can't be done. 
Laws cannot be packed up and sent around like smoking tobacco 
in tin boxes. 

Laws grow like corn, and however well one might do in drafting 
any law, one would be unwilling to call it a model law — certainly 
after the day of its enactment. Conditions change from day to 
day, and besides, what would be a good law for one state would not 
be a good law for another. Laws of value spring from the social 
life and historical development of the people — they should never be 
either forced or grafted. 

There are, however, in this matter of street trading, some rather 
well-accepted standards. You must have been struck with how 
nearly everyone who has spoken this afternoon agreed with the 
other speakers as to what ought to be done. You have observed 
also that those who have spoken have come from different parts of 
the country. We may therefore conclude that throughout the 
country there is a rather definite opinion as to who may, and who 
ought not to engage in street trading. 

I may, I think, be permitted to call your attention to another 
most interesting fact which no one has so far mentioned. The 
people of towns from ten to one hundred thousand inhabitants are 
beginning to make observations on their own account, and to feel 
that something should be done for the regulating of street trades 
in even smaller cities and towns. They are even beginning to talk 
in our language. Right now, throughout the country the regula- 
tion of child street trading is a vital question. I know of one state 
child supervising agency that is making an inquiry into this matter 

*Abstract of a discussion by Mr. Swift at the Seventeenth National Conference 
on Child Labor. 


A Model Street Trades Law 127 

at this very time, and is planning to recommend and urge at the 
next session of the legislature such legislation as, after inquiry and 
study, it deems wise. We may therefore prepare ourselves to make 
such contributions as possible in the formulating of street trades 

If I were called upon to aid in the drafting of a street trades 
act for any state, I would suggest that the following features be 
given careful consideration: 

1. No street trading for girls under 18 years of age. It 
would be better if this could be made 21, and in time I believe 
that it will be 21 in most of the states. 

2. No street trading at night for boys under 16 years of 
age. It would be better if this could be made 18 and in time 
it probably will. 

3. No street trading by boys under 12 years of age. It 
would be better if this could be made 14 in all the states, but 
in states where there is no regulation, or very little regulation, 
if certain other features, which I am about to suggest, were 
written into the law, there would be no great necessity for 
insisting upon 14 instead of 12. We may have to approach 
the best gradually. 

4. The state-wide act should fix minimum standards only. 
The act itself should carry a provision authorizing any city or 
town to fix and enforce higher standards if it chooses to do so. 
The state should hold the local community up to a certain 
level in child care, but should not hold it back from going 

5. Every boy under 16 years of age engaging in street trad- 
ing should be required to hold a license in the form of a badge, 
good at most, for not more than one year, and granted by the 
officer authorized by law to grant work permits under the 
general child labor law. I see no reason for having two per- 
sons or agencies authorized to grant licenses for the employ- 
ment of children. A badge is in reality a license on display. 
These badges should be granted only after there has been a 
proof of age as required by the child labor law, and a lawful 
certificate of both physical and mental fitness for street trade 
work. This is, I believe, a new feature. We have been press- 

128 The American Child 

ing the matter of certificates of physical fitness for ordinary 
employment, but so far as I know, have not insisted upon such 
certificates for street trading. I see no good reason why such 
certificates should not be required for street trading and there 
are many reasons why this certificate should cover mental as 
well as physical fitness. These badges should be granted upon 
the condition that they may be revoked, whenever it appears 
that street trading interferes with the child's health or his 
progress at school. 

If these provisions and this condition were written into 
the law and properly enforced, it seems to me that a 12-year 
age limit for street trading for boys would be much better than 
a 14-year age limit without them. 

6. In the discussion I should raise the question of the 
number of hours of employment. Not much, if anything, 
has been said upon this question, but it is one that we shall 
have to meet. The 8-hour standard for children under 16 is 
now rather well established in ordinary emplo3niient. 

Schoohng, if it is worth anything at all, is work. Going 
to school is harder than hoeing corn — I have tried both. If a 
child can stand more school work than is given in the ordinary 
school day, then we might well lengthen the school day. Schools 
exist for children, and not for teachers. Whether we should 
insist upon an 8-hour day only, including the hours of school, 
I am not certain, but I am very certain that a boy under 16 
years of age should not be permitted to go to work selling 
papers at 6 o'clock in the morning, work until 9 o'clock, go to 
school until 2:30, and then sell papers until 8 o'clock in the 
evening. By a little calculation you will see that we thus get 
a 14-hour day. All will agree that that is too much. 

7. Finally, I should seek to have incorporated into the law 
a provision that any child who is found engaging in street trades 
in violation of any of the provisions of the law, should be treated 
by the Juvenile Court as a delinquent, dependent, or neglected 
child, as the circumstances may show. I woult suggest this 
for two reasons: 

(a) To reach the independent child street trader who has 
so far, in some states, been almost a person above all 
law, and 

A Model Street Trades Law 129 

(b) because more and more we are coming to understand 
that the Juvenile Court, rather than the criminal, 
should take cognizance of all matters relating to the 
welfare of children. 

In any state I would content myself with these suggestions and 
leave to the members of the legislature and other interested organi- 
zations and citizens the actual wording of the law. That, I am 
sure, is the only way by which a fairly good street trades law can 
be assured for any state. 

Not an unoccupied but a well-occupied childhood is the aim of child labor 

In a community that is not poverty stricken and that has educational 
institutions of high gi'ade, with decent employment opportunities for adults, 
the child-labor situation should be much above the standards set by law. 
Heroic efforts should be made to keep children in school, to adjust their educa- 
tional program, and to make continued education profitable and possible, what- 
ever the minimum standards of law may be. — Miss Tracy Copp, Wisconsin 
Industrial Commission. 



City streets and their relation to the welfare of young children 
receive consideration by those interested in children's play, work, 
health, morals, and habit-forming experiences. Child labor in city 
streets with its accompanying results in terms of child life has chal- 
lenged students of the subject in the United States and England 
for a quarter of a century or more. Recent studies deal in the 
main with street work in large cities and record conditions of which 
the general public has little or no knowledge. Among such studies 
are Child Labor in City Streets, Toledo School Children in Street 
Trades, Newsboys of Dallas, Newsboys in Birmingham, and The 
Newsboys of Cincinnati. 

The National Child Labor Committee, in contact with child- 
ren's work in rural communities and small cities, finds that in many 
localities young children work on the streets under conditions which 
violate lowest accepted standards for their protection, while in 
others they do the same kind of work under conditions which com- 
pare favorably with best known regulation of child labor. In an 
effort to find out how effectively street work is regulated and what 
supervision is afforded young children engaged in it in small cities, 
we undertook a brief study of juvenile street trades in Iowa. The 
state has eighteen cities of more than ten thousand inhabitants and 
a capital rapidly developing the conscience and the conditions of a 
large city. Iowa has a street trades law, a good compulsory edu- 
cation law and altogether may be considered in many respects a 
typical mid-western commonwealth with sane, advancing ideals as 
to what work is suitable for children, safeguarding all against those 
forms of work which deprive them of education, health, wholesome 
play, instruction in religious ideals, and strength of character, in 
other words, against child labor. 

We group the findings under three main heads: I. Iiitroduc- 
tion. (1) The law; (2) the study. II. Statement of findings. 


Juvenile Street Work in Iowa 131 

(1) Nature of street work; (2) newspapers' plans for distribution; 
(3) administration of the law; (4) social status of parents; (5) length 
of career and earnings; (6) neglect of carriers; (7) lack of super- 
vision; (8) school records of 167 sellers and 70 carriers; (9) records 
of delinquency; (10) street- workers in the State Training School 
for Boys. III. Conclusions. 


The Iowa child labor law enacted in 1915 has a section on 
street trades applying to cities of over ten thousand inhabitants. 
It designates an age limit of 11 for boys and 18 for girls. Judges 
of Superior or Municipal Courts may authorize officers to issue per- 
mits to boys under 11 years, in exceptional cases. Boys between 
11 and 16 may work between the hours of 4 a.m. and 7.30 p.m. dur- 
ing school terms and 8.30 p.m. during school vacations. Admin- 
istration rests with the Board of Education. Badges are issued by 
the same officers handling work permits, with the same requirements 
except fihng of employer's agreements. The street trades provision 
requires (1) a school record certifying that the boy is regularly at- 
tending school and that the work will not interfere with his progress 
in school; (2) a certificate signed by a medical inspector of schools 
or physician appointed by the Board of Education certifying the 
boy has reached normal development for a child of his age and is 
in sufficiently sound health and physically able to perform the 
work; (3) evidence of age requires: (a) transcript of birth certifi- 
cate; (b) a passport or transcript of baptismal certificate; (c) a 
school census record; or (d) in case none of these is obtainable, a 
physician's certificate. Enforcement rests with attendance officers 
of the pubhc schools. Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by 
a fine of not more than $15.00. Whoever furnishes or seUs any 
article to any boy in violation of law shall be fined not less than 
$15.00 and not more than $100.00. Reports are made annually, 
sometimes monthly, to the State Commissioner of Labor Statistics 
and specify the number of children licensed for street trades. It 
is the opinion of the Labor Commissioner and of the Attorney 
General that final responsibility for securing enforcement of the law 
rests with the State Commissioner of Labor. 

There are 18 cities in the state with a population of more than 

132 The American Child 

10,000. Des Moines alone has more than 100,000; Sioux City and 
Davenport, more than 50,000; Cedar Rapids, close to 50,000; 
Waterloo, Dubuque, and Council Bluffs more than 35,000. This 
report is based on findings in four cities: Des Moines, 126,468; 
Davenport, 56,727; Cedar Rapids, 45,566, and Mason City, 20,065.* 
In these cities, in March and April, 1922, there were 1,542 boys 
licensed for or engaged in street work. Data were obtained from 
age, grade and attendance records of 167 out of 212 street sellers, 
70 out of 573 carriers in Des Moines; from records of former street 
workers now wards of the State Training School for Boys at Eldora, 
and reports of the State Commissioner of Labor Statistics. 


Nature of Street Work 

The nature of systematic street work carried on throughout 
the state is principally the distribution and sale of newspapers and 
periodicals. Carriers and street sellers of local and out-of-town 
dailies, of magazines and periodicals are found in all parts of the 
state and everywhere an effort of some sort is made to provide 
badges as required by law. Spasmodic distribution of hand-bills 
and free samples (such as breakfast foods and washing powders) 
and the sale of popcorn and paper flowers during county and state 
fairs or on circus days, are included in the street trades provision, 
but not at present covered in its administration. Children working 
in public markets, in shoe-shining estabhshments, and delivery and 
messenger boys are subject to regulation under other sections of 
the child labor law. 

Newspapers' Plans for Distribution 

Important factors contributing to conditions under which 
children work, and influencing the officers issuing permits, are 
newspapers' plans and organization for distribution in downtown 
streets and to subscribers in their homes. The emphasis placed on 
street sales and on distribution to subscribers depends largely on 
the number of people on the streets, the distance of business men 
and shoppers from their homes, and on means of transportation 

Population figures, Official Register, 1922. 

Juvenile Street Work in Iowa 133 

from downtown districts. Papers for distribution on the streets 
are handled in three ways: (1) through hustlers employed by the 
paper; (2) through a news agency; or (3) direct with the sellers. 
Carriers may sell on their routes but always onlj^ as a side issue — 
their first responsibility being to ''carry" papers to subscribers. 
Distribution in downtown places of business and in residential dis- 
tricts by means of carriers is handled in two ways: (1) boys go to 
newspaper offices where they are given their bundles of papers and 
where they fold them; (2) bundles are delivered to a corner near 
the boys' routes by means of a truck or street car. Some papers 
use both methods, a fourth or more of the boys going to the down- 
town offices for their bundles. Through the courtesy of circulating 
managers we visited most of the distributing rooms, when newsboys 
were present. The rooms vary in size and character from a large, 
cheerful office on the first floor entered from the street, to dark, 
dingy basements reached only through narrow stairs from an alley. 
In a few instances boys are allowed to loaf about the alley spending 
their time in idleness, smoking cigarettes. In two or three instances 
they are subjected to swearing and rough treatment at the hands 
of truck drivers eager to load up and start on their rounds. 

An observer of street sales can usually determine which method 
of distribution predominates in a city by the way boys pursue their 

For instance: In Daveneport we found it necessary to 
follow a small boy two blocks, wait while he looked wist- 
fully in a bakery window, went in, bought a cream puff and 
came out eating it, before we had any opportunity to buy a 

One stormy night in Mason City we could find no news- 
boy on the streets within an hour after the daily was off the 
press. In Cedar Rapids and Des Moines no matter what 
the weather, we were besieged at every downtown corner, and 
two or three times between corners, by from one to five boys 
eagerly and lustily crying their wares. 

Des Moines and Cedar Rapids feature street distribution through 
hustlers, while Davenport and Mason City pay slight attention to 
street sales and feature distribution to subscribers in their homes; 
the former handle street sales through a news agency and the latter 
direct with a small and uncertain number of boys. News-stands 
operated by adults are found at frequent intervals in Des Moines. 

134 The American Child 

In Mason City they are found in comparatively large numbers in 
stores handling books, drugs, and cigars, in barber shops, and real 
estate offices. Several newspaper men look upon the news-stand 
as a good business for the owner but not satisfactory for speedy 
street sales. 

The hustler or street man usually advances from street seller 
and it is said to be practically the only promotion to look forward to. 
One hustler in Des Moines has been with the same paper twenty 
years; one in Cedar Rapids seven, another five. Several began 
as newsboys at five years of age. Two brothers are making their 
way through high school and college. Among others we find truck 
drivers, wrestlers, and promoters of boxing matches. Hustlers 
have entire charge of the boys, and their influence over them depends 
largely on their own character and ideals and their business methods 
and attitude toward young children. They frequently believe in 
using small boys on the streets because they consider they made a 
success. One said, ^'Take little fellows and they can sell all round 
the big uns"; another, "SeUing papers is a kid's job. When they 
get nine or ten they are too old.'' 

Hustlers are responsible for estimating the number of papers 
required for street distribution based on the history of sales at 
various points. They assign boys to locations according to their 
ability to handle the number stipulated, instruct them in methods 
of selling, and promote or demote them as circumstances warrant. 
They usually require each boy to pay for the total number of papers 
assigned to his location whether he sells them or not. One hustler 
explained, "If the order is stuffed, I sometimes take papers back, 
otherwise, I never do." Payment is made daily, usually after the 
papers are sold; a few are required to pay in advance. 

Anxious to keep favorable locations, newsboys resort to a 
variety of methods to dispose of the required number of papers. 
Large boys shove them off on little fellows. Several have a list 
of friends who "feel sorry for me and buy all I have"; many use 
small brothers, cousins and friends as helpers, and all cry the most 
sensational news to attract attention and sales. Discussing with a 
small boy whether murder made good sales, he replied, "Naw, mur- 
der don't go no more." Instances came to our attention of avari- 
cious parents inflicting severe punishment on boys when they took 
an arm fuU of papers home instead of a purse full of coins. 

Juvenile Street Work in Iowa 135 

Papers employing no street circulator sell direct to the boys 
for cash. Each boy determines his nimiber and sells regularly or 
not, as he chooses. Whether he develops sales as a business depends 
upon him and in no way on the newspaper. A news agency handles 
all street sales in Davenport. Boys licensed to sell deal direct with 
the agency, pay in advance for any number they want and make 
it a regular business or not, as they choose. 

Carriers are responsible for papers reaching subscribers on 
time. The member of the circulating department in charge of 
carriers usually imposes a penalty of some kind in case a paper 
fails to reach its destination. It may be a demerit, as in Cedar 
Rapids, and after a certain number of demerits the boy is dismissed 
or is transferred to a less desirable route. If no complaints are 
registered against him during the month he may receive a cash 
bonus as reward of merit. A cash penalty of 25 cents per paper is 
required of carriers in Des Moines when the office sends a special 
carrier to a subscriber. Those required to collect from all subscribers 
on their routes are held responsible for payments in full. In case 
a subscriber moves or for any reason fails, the boy pays. 

With few exceptions newspapers in the four cities are cheer- 
fully working with local authorities responsible for enforcing the 
street trades law, and acknowledge that regulation, though faultily 
administered, makes for more satisfactory work from the standpoint 
of the paper on the part of the boy. 

Administration of the Law 

Badges are issued by or under the direction of school attend- 
ance officers, who are already responsible for a multiphcity of tasks 
connected with truancy, work permits, supervision of employed 
minors, vocational training, taking of school census, and handUng 
so-called delinquents. The letter-head of Des Moines' department 
enumerates compulsory attendance, employment permits, place- 
ment, continuation school, delinquent children, school census, visit- 
ing teacher, and newsboys. All these are so persistent in their 
demands upon the officers' time and thought that street traders 
are crowded into the background and receive little or no attention. 
Then, too, officers are usually appointed for reasons other than 
their qualifications for or training in dealing with intimate and 
complicated problems of children seeking to enter employment, 

136 The American Child 

their family and home hfe, requiring as we beheve a technical skill, 
an understanding of children and a deep-seated social philosophy. 

In the four cities no perceptible number of children of school 
age sell on the streets during school hours. As one means of keep- 
ing the school spirit high in the community, Davenport discourages 
boys selling during school hours even on holidays. In Cedar Rapids 
and Des Moines they sell in rather large numbers during noon 
hours and on holidays. The half-day shifts in Des Moines high 
schools make it easy for many to sell during hours they are expected 
to spend in home study. The majority of the newsboys comply 
with local requirements and have badges, though many have not. 

Emphasis is everywhere misplaced on the badge rather than the 
significance of the permit back of it. 

For instance: It is not infrequent in Des Moines for a boy 
just past his eleventh birthday to rush into the office of the 
Attendance Department after 3.30 o'clock with a bundle of 
papers under his arm, Often he is introduced by a boy who 
has a street badge. To him, it is apparently a very important 
matter. He must have a badge, and he has the necessary 
quarter to pay for it, because he must sell his papers. The young 
woman who issues badges accepts the boy's statements of age, 
grade, height and weight. She then consults the last school 
census, which is in the same office. If the boy is enumerated 
there and his age is 11, he goes from the Attendance Office the 
proud possessor of a metal badge, licensed as a street seller. 

The purpose of the law is to insure protection, direction and 
supervision to young children. The boy's application for a badge 
is but a beginning and in no sense an end. It should open the 
way for a thorough inquiry into matters specified in the law, his 
home life, why he seeks to spend from two to four hours every day 
working on the streets, to what purpose he will use his earnings, 
the attitude of his parents, whether the matter has been seriously 
considered by his family, whether it is necessary or wise, whether 
he plans to enter permanently the ranks of employed children and 
with whom he will associate. Unless the badge signifies that the 
officer has full knowledge pertaining to such matters and is respon- 
sible to the community for carefully supervising the boy after he 
begins work, the value attached to the piece of metal or celluloid, 
as the case may be, is all out of proportion to its real significance. 

The Superior or Municipal courts do not handle request^; for 

Juvenile Street Work in Iowa 137 

street permits of boys under eleven, with the exception of the Judge 
of Superior Court in Cedar Rapids, who during the course of one 
year has asked the truancy officer to issue badges to about 70 boys 
under the age of eleven years. This is done without an intimate 
knowledge of all facts in the social history of the child and his fam- 
ily, and in spite of the Judge's personal acquaintance with many 
of the boys and his keen interest in their welfare, the badge does 
not insure supervision and protection to the child who wears it. 

Officers require the consent of parents before badges are issued, 
with the exception of those in Des Moines. We talked with mothers 
there in their own homes, who claimed they did not know their boys 
were selling papers on downtown streets after school. 

Everywhere children as young as six and seven years help 
older boys as carriers and as street sellers. In Cedar Rapids many 
as young as six sell on downtown streets. In Davenport and Des 
Moines several little fellows watch papers while older boys scout 
about. Others sell for the ''big guy" for 25 cents a night or a half 
of his sales. Many are on downtown streets after 8.30 at night, 
and in Des Moines on Saturday nights boys ten and eleven were 
seUing as late as 11.30 to after-theatre crowds. 

Nowhere is a physician's certificate required except in Cedar 
Rapids, where private physicians contribute their services to indi- 
vidual children. In Davenport the officer consults the record of 
the last examination made by the school physician who checks up 
on them as conditions require. This is likewise true of children 
receiving work permits. Cedar Rapids and Mason City employ 
no school physicians. Des Moines has a well-organized system of 
school clinics with hours elastic enough to take care of all children 
who attend. Yet for no child entering employment on the streets 
or elsewhere have these clinics been used this year. Neither are 
health records consulted, though these are already on file in the 
ward building. 

Several cases came under our observation of children 
neither mentally nor physically fit for the strain of street work. 
One is an epileptic with a long history known to medical and 
social workers; another a puny boy of eleven, whose history 
is ''difficult feeding in infancy and delayed development; sub- 
ject to convulsions, seizures; diseased tonsils; bad posture; 
malnutrition; possibly chorea; living in a manner not proper 
as regards hygiene and diet." 

138 The American Child 

It is just as important to know a child entering employment 
is sound in body and mind as to know he is not. The Commis- 
sioner of Labor states in Bulletin No. 4, issued June, 1920, and 
re-afSrms the statement in April, 1922: ''Although the law pro- 
vides for physical examination of children desiring work permits — 
there is no provision of law authorizing school boards to expend 
money in payment of physicians' services. The Board may legally 
hire and pay for services of dentists and nurses but in case of physi- 
cians are directed to hire under the provision of the child labor law 
but they have no authority to pay for services. As a result there 
is practically no compliance with this requirement of the child 
, labor law.'* 

Social Status of Parents 

The popular idea that newsboys support widowed mothers is 
not true to fact in Iowa or elsewhere. The majority have both 
parents living; they do not stay in street work for a great length 
of time, and their earnings are all too meager to contribute mate- 
rially to the support of a family. Studies in other states show 
similar percentages. Of 167 street sellers in Des Moines, the social 
status of their parents follows: 

Both parents living 83% 

Mother only living 9% 

Father only living 6% 

Both parents dead 1% 

Unknown. 1% 

Sixteen per cent belong to families receiving some form of social 
or relief service; 1.2 per cent receive mothers' pensions, and 14 
per cent are known to the Juvenile Court. 

Length of Career and Earnings 

A boy's life as a street seller ranges from three days to three 
years, and unless he continues in some form of newspaper business, 
seldom exceeds two years. In Des Moines, one boy, now fifteen 
years of age, has been selling for nearly 10 years. He makes 
$4.00 a week for 6 days of 4 hours each and $3.00 on Sundays for 
33^ hours. He is the capitalist among his associates. Out of 22 

Juvenile Street Work in Iowa 139 

boys, 21 average 30 cents a day; out of 34 selling on a given night 
in March, 2 made 15 cents; 1, 21 cents; 9, 25 cents; 11, 18 cents; 
7, 45 cents. The night was favorable and sales went well. 

The following table indicates the share of the sale price accru- 
ing to the newsboy: 

Number of 

City Dailies Sale Price Boy^s Share 

Des Moines 2 $.02 $.01 

Des Moines 1 .01 .005 

Sunday Edition 1 .10 .03 

Davenport 2 .05 .0175 

Out-of-town...„ .10 .03 

Cedar Rapids 2 .02 .01 

Out-of-town. . 05 and .10 .03 

Mason City 1 .05 .03 

Out-of-town. - .10 .03 

Regular sellers count on making large profits on special occasions, 
such as elections. Unfortunately large numbers who do not sell 
any other time, without permits, crowd into streets favorable for 
sales, and thus deprive regular sellers of profits they should have. 
Violations of night hours are most common on Saturdays, when the 
Sunday morning editions with larger money returns are ready for 
street sales by eight or nine o'clock. 

Reliable information is not available as to what use is made 
of even small earnings, and could not be secured without visits to 
the homes of a large number of workers. Certain it is that in 
many cases they are used for spending money in no way directed 
by parents or any one else. One night an officer kept track of ten 
boys, the total number selling downtown that night, and found 
that eight went to movies before they went home. 

In 1916 Anna L. Burdick made a study of pubUc school children 
under 16 years, engaged in the sale and distribution of papers in 
Des Moines. Her report, published in Vocational Guidance Bulle- 
tin No. 2, is based on the record of 535 boys. She says: ''The greater 

140 The American Child 

number engaged in street trading are 12 years and under. About 
75 per cent of the boys are serious about their work. The money 
they make is over-estimated. The least earnings are five and ten 
cents per day — the average 30 to 40 cents. Four high school boys 
earn $1.10 for their daily sales." 

Carriers usually realize larger profits than sellers. Three 
papers in Des Moines and one in Davenport require carriers to 
collect from all subscribers on their route's and pay on an average 
$15.00 a month, depending on distances, length of routes, number 
of papers, or collections. The time required averages three hours 
daily, except Sunday, and an additional three or four hours on Sat- 
urday for collections. Other Davenport carriers realize from $6.00 
to $10.00 a month and carfare, and Cedar Rapids carriers from $7.00 
to $10.00 a month. 

Neglect of Carriers 

According to the law, sellers and carriers are required to secure 
badges and do, except in Des Moines. The middle of March, two 
hundred and twelve 1922 badges had been issued to downtown sel- 
lers in Des Moines, and an average of 150 boys were on the streets 
every evening except Sunday. At the same time the three dailies 
reported 573 carriers distributing to subscribers before and after 
school. The issuing officer and the Attendance Department had no 
record or knowledge of these carriers. Davenport had issued three 
hundred and eighty 1922 badges to sellers and carriers; Cedar 
Rapids 275 and Mason City 102. Invariably the four cities neglect 
their responsibility for carriers, who often rise early, work long hours, 
go great distances and carry heavy loads. It is true they work largely 
in residential districts and do not always go down town for their bun- 
dles; that many come from so-called better homes and their parents, 
perfectly willing for them to have routes, would not permit them to 
sell on downtown streets. Nevertheless the life of a carrier may be 
very difficult, especially in cities where early morning papers, either 
local or out-of-town, are distributed to subscribers at an early hour. 

We saw two boys in the State Training School from two 
very excellent families in the state. Influences which led to 
their commitment first came into their fives after they began 
to defiver early morning papers. They got up by an alarm 
at 4 o'clock, and walked fully a mile for their 100 papers, y/Jiich 

Juvenile Street Work in Iowa 141 

weighed at least 24 pounds. Bottles of milk were the first 
things they stole and more serious offenses followed. 

A paper in Des Moines insures delivery by 6 o'clock in the morn- 
ing the year round. One hundred ninety-seven boys set alarms at 
any time between 4 and 5 o'clock; go to designated corners in their 
neighborhoods where a street car or truck has left the papers; de- 
liver them to subscribers; hurry back home for breakfast; then off 
to school. These same boys and twenty-one others distribute the 
evening edition immediately after school, between 3.30 and 6.30 
o'clock, and unless delayed are home for the evening meal. The 
maximum number distributed by one boy for one evening paper is 
120, and they weigh 15 pounds by actual weight; for another even- 
ing paper, 180, which weighed 45 pounds; for another 225 papers 
weighing 843^ pounds. Granted they have fairly regular meals, as 
most do, carriers often begin work at 4.30 or 5 o'clock in the morn- 
ing, attend school, carry again after dismissal and reach home 
between 6 and 7 o'clock at night. Not one will admit he retires 

One carrier, age 12, wath a route of 14 blocks, leaves home 
at 5 o'clock, delivers 81 papers in an hour and a half, and after 
school deHvers 87 papers in two hours. During a bhzzard last 
winter he waited for his evening papers until 7.30 only to find 
they had been sent east instead of west on 18th Street. One 
morning at 8.30 a boy who had got up by his alarm at 4.30 was 
still waiting for his papers to arrive, missing school rather than 
disappoint his patrons. 

Again quoting from Anna L. Burdick's study: ''36 boys at 

School reported hours as follows: nineteen were out 

after 6 p.m.; eight before 6 a.m.; three until 9 p.m.; one (who was 
six years old) from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m., except during school hours; 
two from 4.30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; two from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.; thirty 
worked in the morning; 353 in the evening; 104 both morning and 

Lack of Supervision 

Nowhere is there friendly supervision after badges are issued 
and only very limited contact with the boys in their homes and 
natural groups. An effort of rather superficial character intended 
to provide activities for newsboys as a whole, does not meet the 

142 The American Child 

needs of street workers in small cities, where boys are never a com- 
paratively great distance from their own homes. 

For instance: Boys in Des Moines selHng downtown have 
little or nothing in common as boy citizens; they do not and 
should not group together naturally on the basis of their work. 
The largest number are Jewish; many, Italian; a few, Negroes 
and the others so-called Americans. About two-thirds are of 
immigrant families. On the basis of natural grouping as to 
nationality, religion and race, the Jews, Italians, and Negroes 
are well organized for religious, social, educational and recrea- 
tional activities. Every Jewish family is intimately known to 
the Federation of Jewish Social Agencies, which in various 
departments stands ready to protect and develop the indi- 
vidual interest of every Jewish newsboy. The Italians have 
three community centers and the Negroes have three, develop- 
ing and encouraging recreation and education, each for his own 

Boys selling on downtown streets should be carefully supervised 
by some one not primarily interested in the number of sales. They 
should not find it easy to remain downtown when through with 
their work, but should go immediately to their homes. If these 
are not fit places for them, it is the responsibility of the community 
to see that they are made so, not only for the newsboys but for their 
brothers and sisters as well. Fully two-thirds of the street sellers 
in Des Moines come from good homes, and there is no reason why 
they should linger away from them. Attendance officers are no- 
where utilizing or directing possible supervision by volunteer agen- 
cies, such as boys' clubs. Spasmodic voluntary effort undirected 
by trained and competent supervisors is apt to be detrimental 
rather than beneficial to the boys, their families and the community. 

School Records of 167 Sellers and 70 Carriers 

Out of the 212 boys ''badged" for street seUing in Des Moines, 
we secured school records for 167, through the courtesy of their 
principals and teachers. Information on file in the Attendance 
Department was cheerfully placed at our disposal. It is restricted 
to name, age, residence, parent, height, weight, number of the 
badge and distinguishing mark. All records of attendance, scholar- 
ship and physical examinations are kept in the offices of the boys' 
principals. Since carriers are not "badged," no list is kept in the 

Juvenile Street Work in Iowa 


Attendance Department. Each newspaper keeps an up-to-date 
list of its own carriers, and two or three principals keep track of 
those enrolled in their buildings. In order to get an idea of the 
school record of a few of the 573 carriers, we asked principals in 
different sections of the city to furnish information for those en- 
rolled in their buildings. As a result they made available records 
for 70 boys distributing papers in residential districts in different 
parts of the city, which may be considered fairly representative of 
the 573 total. 

Charts 1 and 2 tell the story of sellers and carriers in percentages 
as to age, grade, attendance and retardation. In estimating retard- 
ation, a variation of one year might well be allowed, because ages are 
recorded in terms of years as 8, 10, etc., rather than date of birth; 
and because grades are recorded in terms of nimabers only, as 7, 
8, etc., rather than 7B, 7A, 8B, 8A. If a child begins school at six 
or seven and takes one year to a grade, he will normally reach the 
8th grade at thirteen or fourteen. On this basis, used in many city 
schools, we computed retardation. 

From Anna L. Burdick's report we again quote: '^Of the total 
(535), 12 per cent were reported as failing; of the 104 who work 
both morning and evening, 50 per cent showed either over age or 

CHART No. 1 

Record of 167 Des Moines street sellers for 130 school days (September, 1921 to 
March J 1922), as to age, grade, attendance, retardation, and 'promotion 






















Not any 




during year 






5 or less 








6 to 10 










11 to 15 


Retarded: lyr. 






16 to 20 


2 yrs. 






21 to 25 


" over 2 yrs. 




All others 



26 and more 


Of eleven sellers absent 26 or more days, seven missed more than 33^ per 
cent of school. 


The American Child 

CHART No. 2 

Record of 70 out of 673 Des Moines carriers for 130 school days {September, 1921 
to March, 1922), as to age, grade, attendance, and retardation 


Per Cent 


Per Cent 

Days Absent 

Per Cent 


Per Cent 





Not any 








5 or less 


Normal grade 






6 to 10 


Retarded: 1 yr. 






11 to 15 


Over 1 yr. 





16 to 20 




21 to 25 
26 or more 


Of three carriers absent 26 or more days, one missed more than 34 per 
cent and two more than 22 per cent of school. 

Records of Delinquency 

Out of 167 boys licensed for street selling; in Des Moines, 14 
per cent are known to the Juvenile Court. Chart 3 tells the story 
in percentages as to age, grade and retardation. Court records 
contain little or no information regarding their occupation unless 
it is directly related to their offense. Probation officers leave to 
the attendance officer all matters pertaining to street workers, 
taking responsibility only in case complaints are filed. The Court 
has but one probation officer available to make investigations and 
to supervise from 75 to 80 boys at a time. It is obviously impossi- 
ble to give satisfactory probationary service to street workers under 
these circumstances. 

CHART No. 3 

Fourteen per cent of 167 Des Moines sellers known to Juvenile Court as to age, 
grade, and retardation 


Per Cent 


Per Cent 


Per Cent 

















Retarded: 1 yr. 






2 yrs. 




All others 




Out of 349 boys in the State Training School, April, 1922, thirty, 
or 8.5 per cent, are street workers from Des Moines. Out of 227 

Juvenile Street Work in Iowa 


under 16 years of age, 12.8 per cent are street workers from Des 
Moines. Chart 4 tells the story in percentages as to age, grade, 
retardation at time of commitment, and nature of the offense on 
which the commitment was made. 

CHART No. 4 

Thirty Des Moines street workers in the State Training School for Boys, April, 
1922, as to age, grade, and retardation at time of commitment and nature 

of offense 






































Retarded: 1 yr. 

" 2 yrs. 

" over 2 yrs. 




Nature of 

Ran away 
Stay out nights 
Break and enter 
Bad associations 
All others 










Mrs. Burdick's study of Des Moines Juvenile Court records 
(1916) dealing with pupils up to 16 in attendance at the public 
school, showed 

27 per cent came from the 5th grade 
21 " " " " " 4th " 
17 " " " " " 6th " 

^^ a a (I (( a ^j-J " 

21 " " " " all other grades. 

The ages of the juvenile offenders she found as follows: 
21 per cent were 15 years of age 

lo u a "14 " " " 

1 o « u ^' 1 '^ " " " 

yj u u "12 " " " 

26 " " " between 12 and 8 years of age. 

The nature of their offenses she grouped as follows: 

45 per cent were due to larceny 

25 " " " incorrigibility 

14 " " " due to phases of dishonesty of de- 
liberate criminal intent 

16 " " " petty crime, growing out of gang 


The American Child 

Street Workers in the State Training School for Boys 

We consulted records at the State Training School for Boys at 
Eldora, in order to determine to what extent the pupils there are 
recruited from boys engaged in street work. We hoped to confirm 
the popular idea that selling papers and other merchandise on the 
streets in small cities universally makes for manly qualities of char- 
acter, thrift and industry. Through the courtesy of the Superin- 
tendent and his staff the record of previous occupations for 349 
boys enrolled at the time of our visit were available, and personal 
histories of 116, or 33.2 per cent, who were formerly engaged in 
street work. Out of 227 boys under 16 years of age, 101, or 44.5 
per cent, were street workers, and of these, 12.8 per cent belong to 
Des Moines. Chart 5 tells the story, to a slight degree, of somebody's 
neglect of young street workers in Iowa: 

CHART No. 5 

Street workers in State Training School for Boys as to number enrolled, age, grade 
at time of commitment, and nature of offense 

Total Population 

No. Street Workers 





Under 16 yrs. 






Nature of 


Nature of 
























Sleep out 






Ran away 
















Break and enter 


Cigarette fiend 






On streets all night 


Set fire 


Over 15 




Bad association 


Hold up 




Sex irregularities 




Below grade 




Out school 3 yrs. 


Juvenile Street Work in Iowa 147 


Street work in Iowa constitutes no uncertain source of danger 
for young children allowed to engage in it without supervision. 
Children are not receiving protection which well regulated super- 
vision makes possible. There is no way of measuring accurately 
how far influences of the street affect them unfavorably or what 
attitudes are created by street work. But the unquestionable fact 
that evil results are found in a number of cases in cities, large and 
small, is sufficient to justify such supervision as will protect all 
children, as far as possible, from detrimental influences. The 
spirit of Iowa's Commissioner of Labor is reflected in what he says 
in Bulletin No. 4, "Without purposely making work permit require- 
ments too stringent as to be prohibitive, the prevailing idea is to 
protect the child in matters of health and education and to check 
as far as possible undue license in employment of children for the 
benefit of parents or employers." 

Whether children enter street work temporarily as an adven- 
ture, or because they want spending money, which their families 
are either unwilling or unable to furnish, or whether they enter 
with an idea of permanency, they are too valuable as children and 
as potential citizens to turn loose on the streets without some one 
being responsible for them, who is primarily interested in them as 
children, not as money getters or sellers of merchandise. 

Children hcensed for street work are apparently neither lag- 
gards nor truants in large numbers, although 42 per cent of 167 
sellers in Des Moines are retarded and 10 per cent failed to merit 
promotion. While 13.7 per cent of these same boys did not miss 
one out of 130 days of school, nearly 30 per cent were absent more 
than two weeks. School retardation among 70 carriers registers 
21 per cent, and while 18.5 per cent did not miss one day of school, 
nearly 30 per cent missed more than two weeks. 

Unquestionably there are sick children working who need the 
help which careful physical examinations and subsequent treatments 
would provide. There are children working who are menially sick. 
As a rule they do not stay long in street work, because they are not 
able to get along with others and do not "stay put," as one hustler 
expressed it. Dull or retarded children never should be permitted 
to work on the streets, because they easily imitate what they see 
and hear. 

148 The American Child 

There is significant relation between records of delinquency and 
retardation. Among street workers known to Juvenile Court, 72 
per cent are retarded, and of Des Moines' street workers in the 
State Training School, 76K per cent are retarded. The age of 
these so-called offenders is pathetically young. The largest num- 
ber of one age known to the court are but twelve, and those in the 
Training School were but twelve when committed. Whether boys 
known to juvenile courts and those committed to the State Train- 
ing School work on the street because they are ^'bad," or are "bad'' 
because they work on the street, it is imperative that our programs 
for regulation and supervision prevent those with tendencies toward 
delinquency from entering street trades, and protect all who are 
allowed to enter, from influences which make for delinquency. Out 
of 116 street workers in the State Training School, 60 per cent were 
committed because of stealing, truancy and running away. 

Teachers, speaking of the characteristics of individual street 
workers, frequently use such terms as 'listless," '^mable to con- 
centrate," "inattentive," "indifferent," "inaccurate," "crave excite- 
ment," and "restless." We know street workers are exposed to 
undue fatigue, to all kinds of weather without regard to health, to 
sights and sounds for which they have neither understanding nor 
power to resist. They have little opportunity to learn a trade, 
they spend their earnings as fancy dictates without direction or 
instruction, developing a demand for excitement, frequent change, 
and qualities not known as thrift. No one knows how many child- 
ren work on the streets because of real economic necessity. We are 
confident the number is much smaller than the casual observer 
believes. In the four cities, the only group having accurate infor- 
mation on this point is the Jewish Federation of Des Moines, and a 
comparatively small percentage of Jewish street sellers there are 
urged through economic necessity. We are just as confident that 
no lowan believes children's earnings can ever cure poverty, but are 
the beginning of poverty in the next generation. 

Then, too, if eight hours is a desirable working daj' for men and 
women, how far can any city permit children eleven and younger 
— for man}^ under eleven work with or without badges — to work four 
and five hours on the streets, plus five and six hours in school, every 
day school is in session. 

We believe it is desirable to issue badges for street work only 

Juvenile Street Work in Iowa 149 

as symbols of permits on file with the issuing olSicer; that permits, 
and subsequently badges, should be issued only with the con- 
sent and full understanding on the part of the child's parent or 
guardian, as to hazards of street work, its probable future, nature 
of the work in detail, character and purpose of those to be associated 
with the child, and what the probable effect may be on his school 
work, health and habits. We beheve a report in writing should be 
required from the child's principal as to age, grade, attendance, 
scholarship, habits of application, the opinion of the principal and 
his unreserved approval of the child assuming additional work; 
that a complete up-to-date hst of all street workers in his building 
should be furnished each principal; that a social history of the 
family be secured along with legal proof of the child's age; that 
as complete a physical and mental examination as possible be given 
every child, with authoritative certificates kept on file with the 
issuing officer. 

Even after badges are issued on such basis of knowledge, a fail- 
ure to furnish adequate supervision may be responsible for immeas- 
urable harm to the young merchants. Some one is needed who 
shall be free to give all the time required to know each street worker 
personally — in his home life, his recreation, his school; to know how 
he spends his time, all details of his street work; to help him make 
such personal adjustments that all experiences connected with it 
shall become positive factors in his education. Such a supervisor 
may be a volunteer or a paid member of the attendance department, 
but without such supervision a program otherwise effective fails to 
give adequate protection to young children engaged in street work. 


International Relations of Labor. David Hunter Miller. New York: 
Alfred Knopf. 

The history of international labor relations is so amazingly short that a 
survey of what took place in the last generation gives a complete outline of its 
precedents. In this compact Uttle volume David Miller, the legal adviser of 
the American Peace Commission, describes the progress made in international 
labor relations from the first Labor Conference in Berhn in 1890 to the Wash- 
ington Conference in 1919. 

The author traces in a concise and lucid manner the change which has 
occurred during that time in the governmental attitude toward such regulations : 
how, from an idea that they were far too novel even for diplomatic discussion 
in the first part of the nineteenth century, the attitude changed to a recogni- 
tion by the Peace Conference of the right of labor for international protection. 
Thirty-three years after Bismarck's declaration that international protection of 
workmen was impossible and impracticable, an International Labor Magna 
Charta was incorporated in the Treaty of Versailles. The former tendency 
toward distrust and obstruction of labor regulations has given way to a ten- 
dency toward union, and the international labor movement, instead of being 
made a movement of hostile classes, has become one looking rather to the prog- 
ress of humanity than to any group advantage. 

The change in the attitude toward child labor, for example, is shown by a 
comparison of the proposals of the first "International" in Geneva in 1866 with 
those of the recent Washington Conference. 

Mr. Miller emphasises the fact that the present status of international 
labor relations is bound up with the Labor Clauses of the Treaty of Versailles, 
which provides an international conference of the members of the League of 
Nations to meet at least once a year. Thus there is estabhshed a continuous 
international parliament of labor, which does not have final legislative power, 
but which has powers of unrestricted discussion. 

Speaking of the constitutionahty of the recent federal child labor law, the 
author points out that in Australia, under a constitution in this respect hke our 
own, a very similar statute was declared unconstitutional by the High Court 
by a 3 to 2 vote. 

He goes on to say, "If Congress, either under the taxing power or under 
some other power granted by the Constitution, can legislate on the subject of 
labor conditions in the United States, our own interstate problem of uniformity 
and progress will have found a solution, a solution, however, delayed under our 
constitution as long as the solution of the similar international problem which 
has confronted Europe for the century past. 


Book Reviews 151 

"Indeed, in view of the constitutional difficulties regarding Federal legis- 
lation in the United States, to which I have alluded, it has been suggested that 
the treaty power of the United States would not extend such international 
labor legislation as is contemplated by the Labor Clauses of the Treaty of Ver- 
sailles." Mr. Miller does not believe that this contention is well founded but 
its mere possibiUty makes the necessity of a constitutional amendment more 

Anyone who has watched the slow struggles in the United States for state 
labor legislation will realize what the international adoption of minimum stand- 
ards for conditions in industry would mean. And how much more difficult it is 
to regulate international labor conditions than merely to regulate those main- 
taining in forty-nine homogeneous states. Just as some of the southern states 
are the backward members of our federation in regard to social legislation, so 
India and Japan are the backward countries in international legislation; special 
consideration was given to them at the Washington Conference and must be 
given them in the future. 

Such a study of the history of international regulations of labor clearly 
foreshadows the inevitabiUty of future international legislation for child wel- 
fare. America will, of course, join in cooperating with the labor movement in 
other countries in that regard, even though she is not a member of the League 
of Nations. 

J. D. 

Penology in the United States. Louis N. Robinson, Ph.D. Philadelphia: 
The John C. Winston Company. 

Dr. Robinson, formerly chief probation officer of the Philadelphia Municipal 
Court, has given us in his volume on Penology in the United States, a useful 
compilation of facts on past and present methods of handhng criminals. There 
is httle discussion of the changing theories involved in these methods, for Dr. 
Robinson feels that the evolution of the various means of punishment sufficiently 
illustrates the evolution of the theory. It seems to the present reviewer unfor- 
tunate that a volume designed for use as a text-book in colleges and law schools 
should not have devoted a Httle more space to the underlying philosophy of a 
field in which concrete accomplishment is so uneven. The bibhography, how- 
ever, lists the standard sources of information for those who wish to study 

Dr. Robinson traces the historical development of the county jail system, 
the workhouse, the state prison and reformatory, and other forms of punish- 
ment including flogging, fining, sterilization, and the use of the death sentence; 
and he discusses the question of prison labor, compensation of prisoners, proba- 
tion, and parole. Not the least interesting chapter to the general pubHc, for 
whose information the book is also designed, is that which deals with the man- 
agement of institutions. For without good management the physical equip- 
ment of any institution counts for little. In the last chapter of the book cer- 
tain next steps are outlined which, when taken, will go far toward bringing about 
the scientific treatment of the individual offender which is the dream of the 

152 The American Child 

present-day penologist. They are: the socialization of the criminal court; 
the extension of probation; the establishment of institutions for special types 
of offenders; the eHmination of jails or places of detention for sentenced pris- 
oners; a flexible system of transfers among institutions; the abolition of the 
death sentence; and the renewed emphasis upon making the goal of prison 
administration the development of character. 

M. B. E. 

Parenthood and Child Nurture. Edna Dean Baker, M.A. New York: 
Macmillan Company. 

As stated on the jacket of this book, "This volume is written to show par- 
ents in how many important ways the discoveries of modem child study may 
aid them to understand their children better and make a surer success of their 

It is a practical, readable and apparently accurate study of child hfe from 
birth until eleven years of age; one that any mother, whether she is versed in 
psychology or not, can read with profit and learn that a child's mind is net 
guided by adult-conceived principles of behavior. 

G. P. W. 

The Young Industrial Worker. M. PhiUips. New York: Oxford Univer- 
sity Press. 

The relation of the Continuation School to the young industrial worker — 
its mission, function, curriculum, and problems are frankly treated by Miss 
Phillips, an English Continuation School teacher of six years' experience. The 
discussion is suggestive and constructive without being dogmatic, authoritative 
without being pedagogical. The author beheves that the Continuation School 
offers the best corrective of the stunted and abnormal personahties which crude 
industrial conditions miiit inevitably produce. The book is made vivid with 
extracts from letters from her pupils and snatches of themes which are a revela- 
tion of the psychology of children in industry. 

The lack of seK-development of the young worker, the fact that he never 
knows solitude or has a room to himself at home, his crowd mentaUty, his aes- 
thetic tastes set for him by the streets and houses in which he Uves, makes the 
whole problem of training the individual in independence of thought a formid- 
able task. The average Continuation School girl lives always in a crowd; she 
suffers torture if asked to enter a strange room in a factory without a companion 
or if obhged to walk home from work by herseff. To combat this tendency, 
group work in the Continuation School is strongly advocated. 

Social and aesthetic education are discussed with many suggestions as to 
the ways of stimulating interest and appreciation in the child whose mental 
instabihty, lassitude, and lack of concentration are a result of energy exhausted 
in work. The book is an interesting document in the progress toward an equali- 
zation of educational opportunity among ^UjClasg^of society.